WICHITA, Kan (KSNW) – There’s a lot of talk about the delta variant mask ordinances, vaccination mandates, and restrictions for kids in schools. Yet a public health order in Sedgwick county is delayed.
It’s been over a week since the CDC recommended that everyone wear a mask again and encourage vaccines.
Sedgwick County health officer, Dr. Minns said he would put out guidance for the community in the next several days. On Wednesday, Sedgwick county manager Tom Stolz said that Dr. Minns is working on a new health order, but it’s not clear when it will be proposed.
Jessie Hartke, one of the operators of Wave, a Wichita music venue, said she isn’t sure how they even enforce a health order again.
“As a business owner who was shuttered for 15 months it’s very hard for me to enforce a strongly recommended mandate,” said Hartke.
It’s been less than two months since Wave has been able to reopen and host shows again. Hartke said another health order is not the solution.
“I don’t have the extra wear with all to hire extra staff or expect the staff that I do have in place to enforce a mandate or a strongly recommended concept,” said Hartke.
Wichita mayor Brandon Whipple said he’s not necessarily for a mask mandate, but he did say he’s for following medical guidelines. As for face coverings in schools, he says now is the time to encourage masking again.
“This is our window now, if we want our kids in the classroom we want them to be as safe as possible as adults we have to do what it takes to get that spread rate down,” said Mayor Whipple.
Hartke said since Monday all employees at the Wave are wearing masks again but she said the only solution is for more people to get vaccinated.
“We are lucky enough to live in a place where we have vaccinations available for free for everyone above the age of 12,” Hartke said. “And it’s incredibly frustrating to see that people are not choosing to do what is best for their community and help keep others safe who are not able to get vaccinated.”
Even though Wave staff are wearing masks, they are not requiring customers to mask up.