Sedgwick County cities say new county-wide mask mandate won’t impact them much

Published: Jul. 8, 2020 at 10:41 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Wichita city limits has been under a mask mandate for nearly a week -- but this week that mandate will be county-wide.

“I do have three little kids at home and a husband, a family that I also want to keep safe. So it’s not just about the store and myself, it’s bigger than that,” Amanda Mannes, owner of The Cottage Market in Valley Center said.

Mannes and her employees have worn masks since the business was able to reopen.

“I don’t think anyone wants to go back to completely shut down,” said Mannes. “We’re just going to require for customers for them to come in and wear them unless they’re medically not able to.

“I’m not a fan of mandates in these cases but I do believe we ought to be responsible,” Park City City Councilman Ben Sauceda said. “Not just for our own sake but for our neighbor’s sakes.”

While in neighboring Park City, Sauceda said the new Sedgwick County mask mandate is one step in trying to limit the spread of COVID-19 but also to try to keep the local economy up and running.

“People maybe not going out to businesses as much because they can’t wear the mask and don’t want to deal with the hassle of it,” said Sauceda. “But I think a lot of us though do have the mindset of, if I can still go out and do things, I’m going to do that.”

In Bel Aire, Mayor Jim Benage said the town’s city council approved a resolution in Tuesday’s hearing to strongly recommend Bel Aire residents wear masks.

“I’m not a huge fan of these mandates. I am a strong fan of masks,” said Mayor Benage. “I think that masks should be worn. But we’ll go with the flow of it if it’s what they have ordered and we will comply with the order.”

Other than those who medically can’t wear a mask, several business owners and city officials say wearing a mask is a small task in order to keep the economy open.

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