Sedgwick County Rejects Mask Mandate

Sedgwick County commissioners have voted down a mandate along party lines after a heated debate in which an anti-mask activist said he and other opponents would show up outside commissioners’ homes with megaphones if they passed the ordinance.

“You will not get sleep,” the anti-mask speaker said.

He added: “We don’t want this. This is Kansas. This is God’s country.”

Commissioners condemned the man’s threats, and called a brief recess so they could call their family members to make sure they were safe.

Commissioner David Dennis, a Republican who voted to take no action on the county health officer’s proposed mask requirement, said state government should be in charge of mask mandates, not county commissions.

The GOP-controlled Legislature, though, has said local officials are best positioned to make such decisions.

Governor Laura Kelly, a Democrat, tried last year to impose a statewide mask mandate, but she said this summer that she was no longer considering one.