JOHNSON COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- Three Johnson County cities will implement mask mandates starting next week.

Prairie Village, Mission and Roeland Park in Johnson County all voted to require masks in public settings at their individual city council meetings.

The ordinances, all similar to each other, require masks for everyone above the age of 5 inside public spaces. The only exceptions to this are when inside a church or seated at a restaurant.

City officials in all three municipalities expressed frustrations over the Johnson County Commission's lack of discussions regarding masks.

Sollie Flora, the mayor of Mission, Kan. said and other civic leaders in northeast Johnson County were concerned about rising COVID cases in the area.

"It was really the acute crisis we're facing now and the message we are hearing," she said. "When things got bad enough, we got together and said, 'What can we do to make a difference here?'"

Mike Kelly, the mayor of Roeland Park, tweeted after his city's decision that cities should not bear the burden of public health orders.

"As Mayor, I’m doing everything I can to protect the health & safety of residents. Tonight, RP instated an indoor mask ordinance in response to Omicron. This shouldn’t fall to cities. Our County Commission continues to abdicate responsibility & punt duties to lower levels of gov," he wrote.

On Thursday Kelly told KCTV5 Roeland Park was communicating to businesses about posting signage, hoping to avoid confusion between cities.

"We want to be sure we're really clear about that information gap so that people know the rules in Roeland Park while this surge runs rampant," Kelly said.

The City of Prairie Village had previously sent a letter to county commissioners asking for a more proactive approach to managing public health.

All three of the cities that adopted mask ordinances had additionally signed a letter with other mayors in the county requesting a stronger county response to rising cases, including more testing.

Last week, the Johnson County Health Director wrote a letter to various cities in the county. The letter detailed Omicron, the dominant Covid strain, and how contagious it is. Delta is also still circulating through the area.

Dr. Sanmi Areola, the JCDHE Director, also told cities about the "unmatech incidence rates and percent positivity" our area is seeing and how many hospitals are reporting their high numbers of Covid patients since the pandemic began.

On Wednesday, Douglas County decided to extend their mask mandate. It will now last until at least February 5.

Kansas City's city council voted last week to require masks in all k-12 schools.


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