Kansas governor signs order mandating face masks in public

In this Friday, May 8, 2020 photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly discusses the coronavirus pandemic...
In this Friday, May 8, 2020 photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly discusses the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference with Dr. Lee Norman, the state's top health administrator, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. Her orders and local orders meant to check the spread of the novel coronavirus are facing legal challenges. (AP Photo/John Hanna) (KWCH)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 9:30 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Gov. Laura Kelly released the details behind a statewide mask mandate that will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday.

The governor signed the executive order Thursday morning.

The order requires Kansans to wear masks indoors, in most cases, or outdoors where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

The mandate has a few exceptions including children five years old or under, persons with medical conditions that prevent wearing a face covering, people who are hearing impaired, eating at a restaurant, and some athletic events.

People who are inside or in line to enter indoor spaces, receiving healthcare services, using public transit or ridesharing services, and outside and unable to maintain six feet of distance must wear a face mask.

Also effective Friday, all businesses must require all employees and visitors to wear a face mask in public spaces and in an enclosed area where they are unable to maintain six feet of distance.

The mandate comes as the state has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, with the state now nearing 15,000 cases.

Enforcing the mandate will still be left up to individual counties and local law enforcement.

Several rural jurisdictions said they do not have the resources to enforce the mandate and state that not wearing a mask is a civil matter, not a criminal one, citing HB 2016, the COVID-19 bill passed in June.

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