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Southwest Kansas says ‘NO’ to mandating masks

Coronavirus in Kansas

DODGE CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Masks, across much of Kansas, are now required to be worn in public. However, some counties are taking a different approach to the governor’s order.

On this map of the southwest part of the state, you can see the counties that are enforcing the governor’s order.

Many are not requiring the wearing of masks, but instead are recommending them. 

So far, every county in southwest Kansas has shot down the governor’s mask order by not mandating them in public.

A select few others, are still waiting on their county commissions to vote on the matter.

County officials, we talked to say they are not anti-mask, but instead, anti-requirement, and believe the decision should rest with each individual person.

“We’re not anti-mask, but we think that people should have the right to make their own choice, and hopefully they’ll continue to do what’s best and safe for everyone,” said Shawn Fletcher, Ford County Assistant County Administrator.

For Ford County, the former epicenter of the virus in the area, the decision weighs heavily on the fact that there has not been a large spike in Coronavirus cases since late April.

“There’s no spike. In the month of June, we saw four days with double-digit positive numbers. The rest have been single digits. So like seven positive, four, zero, one. So there hasn’t been a spike here,” said JD Gilbert, Ford County Public Information Officer.

Local health officials say if there is a situation in which cases do spike, they will reevaluate their decisions. 

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