No mask mandate for Shawnee County, as Delta variant surges

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee County Commissioners are “continuing to evaluate the situation” but won’t make any decisions on renewing a mask mandate without medical input.

“Well, we’re continuing to evaluate the situation right now, we don’t want to make any plans right now,” Shawnee County Commissioner Aaron Mays told KSNT Monday morning. “We don’t have any plans to a mask mandate in place. We feel like we’ve been through this for a year and a half now at least, we feel like people have a pretty good idea what to do, what they need to do to stay safe, and we hope people take those recommendations seriously.”

Mays joined KSNT for a morning conversation Monday morning to discuss the budget, road construction and wearing masks.

In a press conference last Wednesday, the governor announced that anyone entering state buildings will be required to wear a mask starting Monday, as coronavirus cases increase and the Delta variant surges.

State health secretary Dr. Lee Norman said while severe cases seem to be trending downward, hospitalizations are still on the rise.

Most hotspots have been identified in the eastern half of Kansas. According to state officials, several spots experiencing sustained case rates and +20% growth include Douglas County, Leavenworth County, and Shawnee County.

Mays told KSNT the incident Command Center has been renewed for a couple more months in light of the emergence of the Delta variant.

The state has struggled to significantly boost its vaccination rate, as fewer people opt to get vaccinated.

The state’s also been ramping up efforts to get shots into more arms, setting up mobile clinics that offer free vaccines and testing in different parts of the state.

Mays said road construction is on schedule despite extreme heat and rain.

Commissioners continue to work on the budget, Mayes calling out the “financial Struggles” associated with the pandemic.

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