Fears about opening Kansas schools drive state's mask order

July 03, 2020 - 7:26 am

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Kansas’ governor and its top public health official worry that the state won’t be able to reopen its K-12 schools for the new school year in August if it doesn’t reverse a recent surge in reported coronavirus cases.

Gov. Laura Kelly told legislative leaders that a desire to reopen schools is a key reason for the executive order she issued Thursday to require Kansas residents to wear masks in public and their workplaces. 

Some Republican legislative leaders criticized the order as going too far, but state officials don't expect strict enforcement.

Counties can opt out of the mandate.  Sedgwick County Commissioners voted 3-2 to not enforce the governor's mandate but the commission does recommend the wearing of face masks in public.  

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