Kansas to make wearing masks in public mandatory
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says she will issue an executive order mandating the use of masks in public starting Friday to stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The evidence could not be clearer — wearing a mask is not only safe, but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown,” the Democratic governor told reporters Monday.
Kelly’s executive order would require every Kansan to wear a mask if they are around other people. She said her administration will issue specific guidance later this week and will work with the attorney general’s office to implement the policy.
Local officials would enforce the policy.
“This is all we have to fight this virus and it is up to each of us to do our part,” Kelly said.
Kansas health officials reported on Monday at least 14,443 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 905 since Friday. The state also had six more deaths from COVID-19, bring the total number of deaths in the state to 270. Kansas reported that 1,152 people had been hospitalized.
Release from Governor of Laura Kelly:
TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that she will sign an Executive Order requiring that most Kansans in a public space must wear a mask, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3.
“This is a simple, proactive step we can take to keep Kansans at work, get our kids back to school, and keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy,” Governor Kelly said. “Wearing a mask is not only safe – but it is necessary to avoid another shut down.
“Remember – my mask protects you, and your mask protects me,” Governor Kelly said. “We’re all in this together.”
Under the order, most Kansans must wear masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and in any situation in which social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, including outside. The EO will be released on Thursday, and will provide specific guidance regarding under what circumstances masks must be worn.
“I know Kansans will have many questions about this order – and we will answer them when it is released later this week,” Governor Kelly said. “But by announcing the requirement today, people in our state will have the appropriate time to acquire the masks.”
The Kansas Attorney General’s Office will work closely with officials in Governor Kelly’s administration to ensure that the order complies with Kansas law.
For more information on COVID-19 health guidance, please visit.