4 in 10 Kansans don’t have to wear a mask despite mandate

With nearly all but the hardest-hit counties opting out of Gov. Laura Kelly's statewide mandate requiring protective masks when out in public, that means 40 percent of the state's residents do not have to don the masks. One notable exception is Allen County, which is adhering to the mandate.

By

State News

July 10, 2020 - 3:01 PM

Photo by Celia Llopis Jepsen / Kansas News Service / kcur.org

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Four in 10 Kansans live in counties that have overruled Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide mask order even as coronavirus cases in the state soar.

More than 90 of the state’s 105 counties have opted out of the mandate issued last week under a new state law that allows local leaders to follow or discard Kelly’s pandemic-related executive orders.

“I’m not surprised. I think most of the local health officers aren’t, either, at this point. The mask issue has become political,” said Dennis Kriesel, director of the Kansas Association of Local Health Departments.

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