Kansas Governor issues new statewide mask mandate as coronavirus cases rise


TOPEKA, Kan. (NewsNation Now) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced a new statewide mask mandate Wednesday as COVID-19 cases increase across the state.

In the statewide executive order, Kelly said county commissions will have one week to implement their own ordinance. If they haven’t created their own, they will automatically be opted into Kelly’s order, according to NewsNation affiliate KSNT.

Under the order, Kansas residents must wear face coverings when inside public spaces, or in situations where physical distancing can’t be maintained. Residents under age five and those with medical conditions are exempt from face covering protocol.

As of Wednesday, the state has seen a total of 125,294 positive cases and 1,222 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Kansas reported an additional 5,853 cases on Wednesday and another 60 deaths. Hospitalizations have risen by 130 since Monday.

The executive order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Nov. 25 — the eve of Thanksgiving, and will remain in place until rescinded or until the current statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires.

NewsNation affiliate KSNT contributed to this report.

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