Wyandotte County commissioners take no action on health department request for mask mandate


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Unified Government Public Health Department asked commissioners representing Kansas City, Kansas and Wyandotte County to enact a mask mandate Thursday night. The special session ended with no vote taken.

Health officials say things are as bad now as they’ve been since January when no one was fully vaccinated.

The positivity rate in Wyandotte County right now is 30%, meaning about one in every three people tested has COVID-19.

And health department officials say the pandemic in the county is being driven by people under 30 with 129 people in their 20s tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two weeks. That’s followed by 87 people in their 30s, 80 in their 40s and 74 children age 10-19.

Those age ranges are also the ones getting the fewest vaccines according to data released by UGPHD. Though they say vaccines can help in the long run, they asked for the six-week indoor mask mandate to give them time to get vaccinated and stop spread of the Delta variant right now.

“We can mandate, but if we’re not going to enforce all we are doing is sending the message that you do not have to fall into compliance,” Commissioner Tom Burroughs said.

“I ask that we as a commission think about the two choices. One do what’s best and right for the community, or two follow the politics,” Commissioner Christian Ramirez said.

Several commissioners and Mayor David Alvey face primaries for re-election Tuesday, August 3.

Alvey, who sets the agenda for meetings, didn’t indicate if or when masks might be up for a vote when he said the special commission was ending with no action taken.

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