Sedgwick County recommends, but doesn't mandate mask wearing

July 02, 2020 - 10:04 pm

Sedgwick County Commissioners voted late Thursday afternoon, to recommend wearing masks in public, but not to enforce Gov. Laura Kelly's mandate.

Commissioners voted 3 - 2 to only recommend the wearing of facemasks. “The health of our community is of utmost importance and we have to take this virus very seriously,” said Commission Chairman Pete Meitzner. “We have a lot of information in front of us and had incredibly enlightening conversation with business leaders earlier. This virus is not going away and one way to protect our community is to include wearing masks.”

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Dr. Garold Minns, Sedgwick County Health Officer, told the commissioners that both hospitals have told him they are very concerned about the trajectory of positive cases. He said the hospitals asked him to relay their concern to the commissioners.

Minns said masks are the easiest option for changing the trajectory and would have the least impact on the economy.

KSN News reports that Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett says, not wearing a mask in public, is not a criminal violation.  "It's an executive order that doesn't have a criminal component to it," Bennett said.  "So I cannot charge someone with a crime for violating, or not following that executive order," he added.

However, for the counties that choose to enforce the governor's mandate, people who violate it, could face a fine of $2,500.

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