Nov 27, 2020 9:00 AM

More Kan. counties require masks as new mandate takes effect

Posted Nov 27, 2020 9:00 AM

LAWRENCE, Kan (AP) — The number of Kansas counties that require face coverings has risen sharply as fewer opted out of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s latest mask mandate.

Sixty-two Kansas counties now have orders in place, with many coming as Kelly’s new statewide mask order went into effect Wednesday, according to a list compiled by the Kansas Association of Counties. The remaining 43 of the counties have opted out, but most are encouraging or recommending people wear masks.

It’s a stark contrast to the response Kelly received to her first mask order in July, when the majority of counties opted out.

Meanwhile, a Lawrence hotel will serve as a shelter for individuals who need to quarantine or isolate after a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to a positive case, a press release from Douglas County and its Unified Command partners said.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is providing funding for shelter services at the Baymont Inn and Suites. It’s available to homeless individuals, those who cannot safely isolate or quarantine at home due to numerous people living in the same home and first responders and those who work in high-risk professions.