TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new mask mandate Wednesday in hopes of lessening the spread of the coronavirus in Kansas after the state again reported another record seven-day increase in new cases.
State law still allows Kansas’ 105 counties to opt out of such an order from the Democratic governor, and most did when Kelly issued a similar order in July. But the state’s rolling seven-day average for new coronavirus cases is now more than nine times higher than it was than when her first order took effect.
Kelly’s order takes effect Nov. 25, the day before Thanksgiving, and only in counties that don’t yet have their own mask mandates, though that’s still a majority of them. Kelly said she was giving counties without mandates a week to draft their own alternatives. Her order requires people to wear a “face covering” in indoor public spaces and in public spaces outdoors where social distancing is not possible.