Shawnee, Riley Counties take differing approach to Governor’s mask mandate

Masks(KMVT/KSVT Jake Manuel Brasil)
Published: Jul. 4, 2020 at 2:00 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Shawnee and Riley Counties have taken very different approaches to Governor Laura Kelly’s order requiring masks to be worn in public places.

Shawnee County Commissioners decided to vote down the order, instead choosing to wait an additional week to craft a less universal plan.

They took issue with the timing of the order so close to Independence Day.

Although the County does not technically require masks to be worn, multiple people walking through NOTO during the First Friday art walk chose to wear masks anyways.

Further West in Riley County, Commissioners took an opposite approach. They chose to follow the Governor’s order.

The similarity between the two governing bodies is the upcoming option to reverse course.

Both Riley and Shawnee have meetings scheduled to revisit the issue, and determine whether or not to keep mask orders in place, or remove them.

Shawnee County commissioners scheduled a special meeting Monday to workshop a new order, that would be more tailor-made to the County. Officials believe masks could contribute significantly in reducing the spread of COVID-19, therefore the inclusion of a mandatory mask order is far from out of the question.

Riley County has a similar plan to revisit the issue. They plan to meet Tuesday, July 7th and discuss possible changes in the mask mandate that could take better consideration the needs of rural areas.

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