Soon just 2 Kansas counties will have mask mandates, but both are in Kansas City area


MISSION, Kan. — Then there were two, and both counties that still have mask mandates in place are in the Kansas City area.

Wyandotte and Douglas are the only two of Kansas’ 105 counties that will continue to require masks in public places after this weekend.

Johnson County Commissioners decided to let the county’s mask mandate expire and issue another order the strongly encourages mask wearing in public. Businesses and organizations are allowed to make their own mask requirements under the order.

The Public Health Department of Wyandotte County said its order on masks and social distancing is expected to remain in effect until June 10. Any updated ordered would need to be voted on by the Unified Government’s Commissioners. The next meeting of the full commission is scheduled for May 13, 2021.

Douglas County just issued a new public health order that took effect April 15. It includes a countywide mask mandate and social distancing requirements in businesses and most public venues. There is also a 50% capacity restriction on indoor businesses and most public venues. The order will be in effect until May 26, 2021. The Local Health Officers said they currently don’t have plans to ask for any modifications to the order, but continue to monitor the data.

Dropping mask mandates is beyond what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending. While it eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, the agency continues to recommend masks at indoor public places, such as hair salons, restaurants, shopping centers, gyms, museums and movie theaters, saying that is still the safer course even for vaccinated people.

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