Doctor’s message prompts Scott County Commission to approve mask order

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 10:58 PM CDT
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SCOTT CITY, Kan. (KWCH) - A Facebook post by a Scott County doctor prompted a special county commissioners meeting Thursday after she urged the public to be proactive and take a stronger stance on wearing masks.

“I know in the past, we’ve highly recommended masks, and I don’t see too many people wearing them,” Dr. Libby Hineman said.

The western Kansas county followed the encouragement from Dr. Hineman and passed the mask mandate.

“Two out the three of (the Scott County commissioners) walked in saying they weren’t sure they really wanted to mandate masks, they wanted to just encourage them strongly,” Dr. Hineman said. “And by the time we went through all of the data, then they were ready to mandate the masks.”

The simple Facebook post from Dr. Hineman gained attention about the effectiveness of masks in other towns, which made her suggest a county mandate.

If you haven't seen our latest numbers, please follow the Scott County Health Department. We had 0 pending cases as of...

Posted by Libby Sigg Hineman on Thursday, August 6, 2020

“I’ve been posting information here and there, trying to be a voice of reason, in particular on Facebook,” she said. “But seeing the urgency kind of spurred all of this on. I think most people see the need.”

She said this weekend, the country’s rural hospital was “fairly full.”

“We have minimal beds and that was with zero cases pending,” she said. “And then we went to 19 cases pending in 48 hours. We’re a small rural hospital and there’s only so much volume we can handle.”

She said Scott County couldn’t handle a sharp increase in the next couple of weeks.

“So if we can utilize masks to slow that number and how quickly that can overwhelm our staff,” she said.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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