Lawrence-Douglas County issues mandatory mask order

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 2:37 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Lawrence-Douglas County health officer has released a new health order, making masks mandatory at all indoor public spaces.

According to a news release, the order started at midnight Wednesday.

Those include businesses, workplaces and public facilities like community centers or libraries.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a steady increase of cases in recent weeks, including localized outbreaks and more than 30 new cases over the past weekend — numbers we had not experienced locally during the pandemic,” said Douglas County’s Local Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino. “Wearing masks and cloth face coverings is based on sound science that shows this practice will help slow the spread and decrease the transmission of COVID-19.”

The new order includes rules on how to wear a mask:

  • Individuals to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth when in a public, indoor space, including a retail store or grocery store, workplace and public facilities such as a community center or library.
  • Masks should be carefully positioned over the mouth and nose and in a manner to avoid touching or readjusting the mask until it is removed.
  • Masks are not required inside solitary, enclosed workspaces, like an individual’s solitary office.
  • Masks are not required when eating or drinking, but individuals should remain socially distanced and wear a mask before and following eating.

The new order does not apply to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, children under 5-years-old and those with a medical condition.

Lawrence has seen 33 new COVID-19 cases since Friday.

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