Public health officials need our support now more than ever

Twenty-seven county health officials in Kansas have quit their posts since the onset of the pandemic primarily due to a hostile political environment.



December 8, 2020 - 9:26 AM

Rebecca Johnson is director of the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Departments. Photo by Tim Stauffer / Iola Register

On Nov. 24, Coffey County commissioners voted against requesting citizens wear face masks to guard against the spread of COVID-19, per Gov. Laura Kelly’s most recent request. 

The commissioners’ decision went against the advice of Coffey County’s health officer, Dr. John Shell, who requested county leaders take a proactive position against the virus. 

“My plea is for  the community to do more to protect others … when one person wears a mask, it is helpful. When two people wear a mask, it is much more helpful,” Shell is quoted in the Burlington newspaper, the Coffey County Republican. 

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