Douglas County issues mandatory mask order

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 3:40 PM CDT
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The Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department has released a new health order, making masks mandatory at all indoor public spaces.

Those include businesses, workplaces and public facilities like community centers or libraries.

The county says the order starts at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday (July 1).

“Unfortunately, we have seen a steady increase of cases in recent weeks, including localized outbreaks and more than 30 new cases over the past weekend — numbers we had not experienced locally during the pandemic,” said Douglas County’s Local Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino. “Wearing masks and cloth face coverings is based on sound science that shows this practice will help slow the spread and decrease the transmission of COVID-19.”

Douglas County confirmed 157 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, including 33 new cases since Friday (June 26).

A news release from the county reports of its 157 cases, 89 have recovered.

The new order includes rules on how to wear a mask:

• Individuals to wear a mask covering the nose and mouth when in a public, indoor space, including a retail store or grocery store, workplace and public facilities such as a community center or library.

• Masks should be carefully positioned over the mouth and nose and in a manner to avoid touching or readjusting the mask until it is removed.

• Masks are not required inside solitary, enclosed workspaces, like an individual’s solitary office.

• Masks are not required when eating or drinking, but individuals should remain socially distanced and wear a mask before and following eating.

The new order does not apply to those who are deaf or hard of hearing, children under 5-years-old and those with a medical condition.

Anyone in need of a cloth mask may be able to get one by