County takes wait and see approach on state mask issue

Dickinson County officials on Thursday said they were not going to worry about the issue of face coverings until the situation gets sorted out at the state capitol in Topeka.

As Dickinson County Commissioners were meeting Thursday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a number of executive orders. One of which included a new mask order; however, just a short time later, the Legislative Coordinating Council rescinded her mask order (see related story below).

Kelly’s previous mask order had expired the day before on Wednesday, March 31 and earlier this month on March 18, Dickinson County Commissioners rescinded the county’s mask order and voted to opt out of Kelly’s mask order which was in effect at the time.

County officials felt confident in rescinding the mask order due to a significant decline in cases and the increasing availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

During the online public comment portion of Thursday’s county commission meeting, Abilene resident Ronda Beaupre asked commissioners to opt out if the governor issues a new mask mandate.

“I would like you to know we would oppose any participation by our county in that,” Beaupre said.

County Administrator Brad Homman said he and County Health Officer/Health Department Director John Hultgren had talked earlier that morning and they believed it was best to see what happens at the state level before making any decisions locally.

“We were both of the opinion we probably just needed to wait and let the dust clear in Topeka before we worry about either opting out or taking any action at this point,” Homman said. “There’s a lot of moving parts and they need to decide what’s going to be the final product before we can do anything about it right now.

“It’s happening in Topeka as we speak.”

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.