Governor Issues New Mask Mandate

Governor Laura Kelly announced that she’s imposing a mask mandate for Kansas state government workers and visitors to state buildings in the wake of a surge in new COVID-19 cases fueled by the faster-spreading delta variant.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in places where the coronavirus is surging, and under its guidelines, those recommendations would apply to 84 of the state’s 105 counties.

Kelly’s mask mandate would apply to state workers and state buildings in those affected counties, indoors where social distancing isn’t possible, and in public spaces such as hallways and bathrooms.

Her order applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

It covers almost 39,000 government workers, according to legislative researchers.

Kelly is not planning to pursue vaccine passports.

The CDC reported that as of last Tuesday, 45% of the state’s 2.9 million residents were vaccinated.

That put Kansas 30th among states, and below the national vaccination rate.