WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple is pushing for a citywide mask mandate. It comes just one day after the county lifted it’s restrictions. 

Per Governor Kelly’s Executive Order 20-68, a mask mandate is still in effect in Sedgwick County public places which will expire at the end of the month.

This means, the city will have the state’s mask mandate to follow for now, but if the governor does not enact a new executive order, the restrictions for the city will no longer be applicable. 

This will give Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple time to discuss with council members as the conversations continue to split the aisle of the Wichita City Council. 

“Last year, we had a few reports of citizens getting aggressive with employees at businesses, and you know they’re just trying to open their doors and make a living,” said councilmember Brandon Johnson. 

“I don’t think that you should rely on the government to enforce and tell the businesses what they need to do or what they don’t need to do,” said councilmember Jeff Blubaugh. 

The debate revolves around what would be best for local businesses. One side argues that it should be up to the people, the other side says the local government should step in to avoid any business backlash.

Mayor Whipple wants to quickly issue a new mask mandate for the city because the city itself has not implemented one. Right now, he does not have the support he needs for the mandate. 

“I’m not going to call the meeting just to have a political show, so I’ve communicated with my, with my colleagues, that if we’re going to do this, then let me know, I’ll call the meeting and we’ll do it,” said Mayor Whipple. 

Councilmember Johnson said with the council split, it may mean they leave it up to the governor, as she is expected to try and create a new order on April 1. 

“If there is a statewide mandate re-issued by the governor, you know there wouldn’t really be a lot of need for us to step in and take action on that,” said Johnson. 

While there may be different opinions on a new order, they all want what’s best for the city. 

“Certainly, I encourage people to use your common sense to make the right decisions,” said Blubaugh. 

Mayor Whipple would need four votes to pass a mask mandate.

Right now, only two of the seven members have shown support. If the governor does not pass a new order next week, the council plans to have a discussion on it.