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Sedgwick County health officer extends mask order until Oct. 21, restricts vented masks

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A new health order in Sedgwick County requires residents to wear masks for at least another month and a half. It also rules out some vented masks.

Sedgwick County’s Local Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns signed the new emergency order to take effect Wednesday, Sept. 9. It will remain in place until at least midnight, Wednesday, Oct. 21.

The County requires people to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces. Children age five or younger do not have to wear a mask. The order does have some exemptions.

Something different in this order is that some masks are not approved. Face coverings that have valves or vents that allow air to be exhaled do not fit with the definition of “mask or other face covering” under this order.

Face shields are still allowed.

Other key elements of the order:

  • Minns says that while there is still a cap on attendance at entertainment venues of 2,000 people, he is willing to consider approval of events that have more than 2,000 people if the venue will send him a plan.
  • Businesses will be required to continue operating at 50 percent of the fire code occupancy and close to the public at 11 p.m. but may continue carryout and curbside services.
  • The order adopts Phase 2 of the Ad Astra Plan which allows groups of up to 15 people that must be located at least six feet away from other groups. Events and business occupancy are not capped at 15 people. Individuals in public gatherings are still required to wear a mask.

Minns will continue to review and monitor COVID-19 trends in the community and will consider lifting restrictions as trends move in a positive direction. 

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