Manhattan City Commissioners sign off on initial vote to extend mask mandate

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This December 2020 image provided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shows a counterfeit N95 surgical mask that was seized by ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Federal investigators are probing a massive counterfeit N95 mask operation sold in at least five states to hospitals, medical facilities, and government agencies and expect the number to rise significantly in coming weeks. The fake 3M masks are at best a copyright violations and at worst unsafe fakes that put unknowing health care workers at grave risk for coronavirus. And they are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. (ICE via AP)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – It still remains up in the air if the citywide mask mandate will be extended in Manhattan.

Despite commissioners voting 4-1 in favor of extending the mask mandate to May 16th at Tuesday’s Manhattan City Commission meeting.

The vote is not the final decision because it’s only the first reading of the vote, meaning it allows time for public comment and further research until commissioners make a final decision.

The mask mandate currently in effect in Manhattan was set to expire on April 1st. The extension if passed in the second reading would extend it to May 16th.

The next and final reading to discuss and vote on extending the mask mandate will be at the city commission meeting on March 16th.

During Tuesday’s meeting, there was discussion about conflicts with how the mask ordinance is written that impacts the county’s unique situation with part of Pottawatomie County overlapping into Manhattan city limits.

Due to these conflicts, some commissioners are hoping to add some revisions to the ordinance before the mask extension is voted on again.

Mayor Wynn Butler stated he was voting in favor of the extension, with the caveat that during the March 16th meeting, once revisions are made, he would be changing his vote to no instead.

Even if so, it remains to be seen if the remaining three commissioners that voted yes would also change their votes at the next meeting.

This is a developing story, KSNT will continue to update this story once we learn more.

Remember you can always watch the Manhattan City Commission meetings live on the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. by clicking HERE.

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