LAWRENCE, Kan. — Douglas County, Kansas commissioners approved an extension of the current indoor mask mandate Wednesday night.

The new expiration date is March 2, 2022.

They did not vote on a proposal to lift the mandate for events under 500 people.

The public health order requires face masks for those ages 2 and older inside public spaces in Douglas County.

Exceptions to the order include medical and mental health conditions, disabilities, religious activities, eating and drinking at food establishments and court proceedings.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health said there are 4,157 active COVID-19 cases in Douglas County, as of Friday. That’s almost seven times higher than where cases were a year ago when there were 612 active cases.

“Masks are a tool that we can use to help prevent spread of COVID, and it’s especially important to wear them in large crowds where people are likely coming from other communities,” Dr. Thomas Marcellino, county health officer, said. “We want to do everything we can to protect loved ones, our neighbors and the community at large.”

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