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Wichita mayor: Wearing mask part of securing economic future

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 4:57 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple on Thursday further discussed the City of Wichita’s mandate to wear face masks in public within city limits to help prevent further spread of COVID-19. Whipple said the goal is to never get to the point where the city starts fining people for not wearing masks.

The mayor said he believes there are enough opportunities for compliance that people should be able to avoid a fine. The key objective of the city’s mask requirement, he said, is to avoid another shutdown and to help secure Wichita’s economic near-future.

Whipple pointed out other cities in Kansas are following Wichita’s lead and seeing that is a relief.

“Wichita should be the regional leader. We are the largest city in Kansas, and we should be leading the way when it comes to economic growth,” Whipple said. “And wearing a mask and securing we avoid a shutdown is part of securing our economic future in the next few months.”

There are those who feel, however, that the mask order goes too far. Among them is Wichita resident Joshua Williams, who feels the mandate violates his rights.

“As an American, I feel our rights are violated as a people, and, you know, we don’t get to be who we wanna be,” he said. “I just think it’s crazy that we have to wear a mask every single day, and I’m not gonna lie, I have not been following it.”

Anyone with questions about the city’s mask order can call its mask hotline at 316-303-8255, email masks@wichita.gov or visit Wichita.gov/coronavirus. The city asks that residents don’t call 911 about facemasks.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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