KANSAS. (KWCH) – In the next few days, we await responses from most Kansas counties on how they will respond to Governor Kelly’s recent push for a statewide mask order.
About three-fifths of the counties in the state have no mask order. Governor Kelly is hoping to shrink that part of the cake towards Thanksgiving as counties have to act by Wednesday.
“Make sure I meet my responsibility to set a standard for the state of Kansas, but also give the Kansas counties the ownership and flexibility to decide how best to implement them,” said Governor Laura Kelly during a press conference on Wednesday at which the executive order was announced and a public awareness campaign.
Many Kansas counties have recommended and not required masks.
“We have always encouraged everyone to wear a mask. Maintain social distance, and we’ve had it for several months. We just encouraged everyone to obey these rules, ”said Keith Becker, chairman of the McPherson County Board of Commissioners.
That could change in McPherson County on Monday, depending on how the Board of County Commissioners acts. You will be discussing Governor Kelly’s most recent order. The cities of McPherson and Lindsborg already have mask orders on site.
McPherson County is backed by a number of other counties that are doing so before the Wednesday deadline.
Marion County will be one of them Monday. It comes a week after they rejected a county-drafted mask ordinance.
Marion County’s Board of Commissions chairman Jonah Gehring said Sunday he doesn’t think this will be the case this time around when they discuss the governor’s order.
“We just need to evolve and stop worrying about something other than hospitals and their capacities and medical staff getting tired. I think we can all come together and agree on one thing that is our ultimate goal, ”said Jonah Gehring, Marion County Commissioner.
He said they had a working session on Friday to review what was in it.
“Looks like everyone pretty much agrees that this might be the best it can be,” said Gehring.
But counties continue to weigh all of their options.
“In my opinion, the three options we currently have is not to take action and have the governor’s mandate come into effect on Wednesday.” John Steffen, chairman of the Kingman County Board of Commissioners, said, “Another option would be to opt out.” and move on to the recommendations. “
Commissioner Steffen said the third would be to opt out, but then adopt their own mask requirement or regulation.
“We’ll look at the numbers. Our numbers have grown steadily like everyone else’s. “Steffen said:” I didn’t see a big difference between counties with mask mandates and counties without masks. It doesn’t look like it’s that much of a difference. In fact, I think there are some places that I think it’s more since they started wearing masks. “
Kansas has set records for the number of new cases in the past few weeks.
Research by the CDC, released November 20, shows that in Kansas, the counties that issued a mask warrant in early July, net new cases of COVID-19 fell slightly for the rest of July and August compared to June. New cases per 100,000 people fell about six percent.
In countries with no mask regulations, the number of new cases per 100,000 population increased by 100 percent from July to August compared to June.
A special meeting was called in Ellis County Monday morning.
The district’s Board of Commissioners Chairman Butch Schlyer said in a statement on Sunday, “The Board of Ellis County Commissioners has a special session at 7:00 am tomorrow morning to discuss the governor’s executive order. I will support the order and try to direct the discussion towards this goal. “
Barton and Harper Counties have also scheduled meetings for Monday to discuss the order.
Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.