Riley County Health Officer feeling confident in community as mask mandate goes into effect Tuesday


RILEY CO., Kan. (KSNT) – Riley County’s mask mandate goes into effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m., following Gov. Laura Kelly’s new executive order.

This is similar to the county’s previous mandate, which expired in September, and requires everyone in the county to wear a mask inside public places, and outside if social distancing is not possible.

Julie Gibbs, the county’s health officer, decided to enforce this mandate as the number of cases in Riley County rise, leaving local healthcare providers overwhelmed and short-staffed.

“Staff are overwhelmed right now, some are out on quarantine or isolation,” Gibbs said. “It’s just so important that the community does all we can to help prevent that.”

The city of Manhattan has a mask mandate in effect until the end of the year, which the community has been complying with greatly, Gibbs said. This gives her hope the entire county will follow this mandate just as well.

County health leaders will observe the number of cases following Thanksgiving to see if they continue to rise, and from there may take further actions if necessary, Gibbs said.

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