Wyandotte County commissioners to hear from health department on possible mask requirements

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas and the health department will discuss the mask mandate issue in a special session Thursday night.

Commissioners could take immediate action and require masks in Wyandotte County. They will hear a recommendation from the health department.

“This will probably be a hard pitch by the public health department to push for a mask mandate,” Director of Strategic Communication with the UG Ashley Hand said.

The positivity rate is higher than it’s been since the beginning of the year. Hence, the likely hard push by the health department to mask up. However, the decision is up to the commission.

In Wyandotte County there’s been an uptick in the seven-day rolling average, about 55 cases. Hand said that’s the highest they’ve seen since January.

“We definitely are not seeing trends in the right direction,” Hand said. “And 100% of the cases that we’re seeing in Wyandotte County right now are the Delta Variant. So that has high risk of community spread and can be very dangerous for people.”

Ivory Lewis lives in KCK. He agrees.

“People lost too many lives out here,” Lewis said. “People ain’t taking it serious. It ain’t no joke.”

The UG plans to act if commissioners do not Thursday.

Hand said they will decide for their 2,200 employees any day now.

They’re leaning toward requiring masks in government buildings regardless of vaccination status.

“It communicates the urgency of the issue,” Hand said.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the “Core Four” which includes Kansas City, Missouri, Jackson, Johnson, and Wyandotte counties, noted the same feeling about protecting the people, according to Hand.

“I think we all expressed concern about what’s happening in COVID right now and certainly want to take our public’s best interest to heart,” Hand said.

The meeting is virtual, and the public is welcome to listen at 6 p.m. Thursday. CLICK HERE

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