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Shawnee County commissioners voted on county health orders Monday. WIBW photo

Shawnee County mask mandate remains, but businesses, non-profits can opt-out

Shawnee County commissioners announced at today’s meeting that the county’s mask mandate will remain in place, but there is now an option to opt out.

Commissioners Aaron Mays, Bill Riphahn and Kevin Cook decided to keep the rule requiring masks or face coverings in Shawnee County, but now “any party” – Individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations – can now choose to opt-out of the mandate. The decision takes effect immediately.

Commissioner Aaron Mays made the motion to amend the mask mandate.

“It’s still that business’ choice if they want to follow that order or not,” he said.

So, businesses, churches, non-profits or individuals can decide to allow their employees and patrons to opt-out of the mask mandate while on-premises.

They also have the option to retain and enforce the mask mandate on their premises, whether an individual customer agrees or not.

This decision came about as many area businesses asked the board not to get rid of the mask mandate entirely. Other county health orders became optional to businesses and non-profits on March 22.

All health orders, including mask mandates, are still in effect on all Shawnee County property, such as parks and buildings. The City of Topeka will also continue to require masks for the public who come to do business at any city building (City Hall, Holliday, Municipal Court, LEC, Fire Stations, etc).

READ: Shawnee County to lift health orders on Monday; mask mandate remains

The mask mandate has been in place in Shawnee County since July 6, 2020.

Other counties across Kansas have taken various actions recently, from retaining current mask mandate rules, to eliminating them altogether.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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