Statewide mask mandate gets mixed response from Kansas counties

By the Associated Press and KFDI News:

Resistance to masks appears to be weakening in Kansas as the coronavirus surges, straining hospital capacity.

Governor Laura Kelly’s latest effort to require face coverings takes effect Wednesday, although state law still allows the state’s 105 counties to opt out. Most counties did so the first time Kelly tried to require masks in July. But with the average new case numbers more than nine times higher now than then, there appears to be less pushback.

Barton County commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to immediately adopt a county-wide mask mandate. The commission had rejected mask mandates twice before.

Butler and Cowley counties have opted out of the governor’s order, and they are planning recommendations and public awareness campaigns to encourage mask use.   Harvey County has voted to adopt an order to limit the size of mass gatherings to 10 people when social distancing cannot be maintained.   A local health order remains in effect to require masks in public places.