TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County Commissioners on Thursday began requiring the public wear masks in places that are not exempt and where social distancing cannot occur.

Now, local leaders are trying to determine how to enforce that rule, and how the public can help do so.

Not wearing a mask in Shawnee County, if in a place that requires you to do so by the county mask ordinance, may result in a fine of up to $2,500.

Local leaders are trying to determine who will be distributing those fines, and how the legal process will work, according to Shawnee County COVID-19 Incident Commander Dusty Nichols.

Community members who witness businesses not following the ordinance, or people causing a disturbance because they refuse to do so, are encouraged to email the Shawnee County Response Team at or call (785) 251-4848.

“We’ll take those complaints, and particularly about businesses,” Nichols said. “The individual complaints… are more along the lines of causing disturbances or threatening violence, those kind of things.”

That information will then be forwarded to the Shawnee County Counselor and District Attorney’s offices, who will then decide whether to proceed with the fine or not.

County health, law enforcement, and court leaders are working together to make further decisions when it comes to the prosecution for not wearing a mask, Nichols said.

Manhattan City Commissioners also voted to put in place similar ordinances of a $5 fine on the first conviction plus a $90 court fee, $10 on the second conviction or $20 on the third conviction.