PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. (WDAF) — Three Johnson County, Kansas suburbs voted Wednesday night to reinstate mask mandates.
It comes with the average number of daily cases still climbing, according to a regional COVID dashboard.
Roeland Park, Kansas passed a mask order 7-1. It also includes a provision for signage on businesses. People could face a $25 fine and businesses could get a $250 fine. The mask order will start on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Mission, Kansas also approved a mask mandate Wednesday night. The city council hopes it’ll take some pressure off businesses that implement mandates. Mission’s indoor mask mandate also begins Jan. 18 and will end Feb. 23. Violators could face a $25 ticket.
Because of the pandemic, Prairie Village City Council met virtually Wednesday night. There was no public comment, but council members debated a mandate some agree has little teeth, but may be better than nothing without any decision by the county so far.
“I think its good for everyone to mask up, I just had omicron I’m good now but I don’t think it’s something you want to mess with in general,” Arleigh Perkins said, who was in favor of a mask mandate. “I think it’s great to get vaccinated, I’m boosted but out of respect for those who can’t get protected with vaccine I think it’s good to mask up.”
Unlike the mandate that expired on Halloween, the new mandate that passed 12-0 removes requirements for businesses to post signs telling anyone to wear a mask. The mandate really isn’t a mandate all as, as it’s now up to individuals to wear masks, not businesses or their employers to require them.
“Everybody has individual rights and that’s what we have to focus on our individual rights we don’t want those to be taken away,” Gay Asselin said, who was opposed to a mask mandate.
Businesses also won’t be required to remind people to wear masks.
Frustrated Prairie Village council members said they felt to take action because Johnson County hasn’t, despite the health department saying hospitals are at a breaking point with infection rates ballooning 2,000% since November.