LEAWOOD, KS (KCTV) – More and more communities around the Kansas City metro are requiring masks for those out in public, and Monday afternoon that requirement spread across the entire state of Kansas.
Late last week, both Kansas City and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, announced their plans to mandate the use of masks in public spaces. By midday Monday, Jackson County on the Missouri side of the metro and Douglas County in Kansas had announced similar decisions.
However, until Kansas Governor Laura Kelly stepped in with her statewide mandate set to go into effect Friday, there was no mask requirement at all in Johnson County, the state’s most heavily populated county.
At the Ranch Mart in Leawood, there are lots of little shops and restaurants, as well as and a grocery store. Many shoppers out Monday told KCTV5 News they are excited to see the mandate be issued, but still others were opting out of wearing masks, despite the suggestions to do so by health experts.
The Johnson County Health Department said last week it was relying on the “shared sense of responsibility on mask wearing” before issuing a mandate on the issue. That left the decision up to the more than 600,000 people that live in the county, a move which didn’t sit so well with everyone who lives There.
“We are spiking right now in Johnson County,” Merriam resident Steven Alexander said . “I don’t know what the holdup is.”
The CDC, the country’s top doctors and certainly Kansas City’s local medical community have been asking people to wear a mask in public for months now.
Reta Toliver from Turner says she was thrilled to hear Wyandotte County is making masks mandatory, adding that she knows several people who have been sick with COVID-19, some of whom did not survive. For her, wearing a mask is an easy decision.
“I had a conversation with a young lady yesterday at church, and I told her the same thing I’m telling you. ‘I love you, I’m not just doing it for myself, and we ought to be thinking of others,’” Toliver said.
In addition to the mask mandate issued Monday, Kansas continues to have quarantine restrictions for travelers coming in from out of state, including requiring anyone coming from Florida or South Carolina to quarantine for 14 days upon reaching the Sunflower State.