Dickinson County will follow Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks or other face coverings in public.

Dickinson County Commissioners voted to follow the executive order during their Thursday morning meeting after learning the governor’s signed plan included a number of exemptions for certain people.

Each commissioner said they had heard from a number of constituents who were against the mandatory mask order, but felt the exemptions addressed many of those concerns.

The commissioners heard from Dickinson County Health Officer Dr. Brian Holmes via phone conference who said he believed the county should adopt the governor’s order to protect the health of all citizens.

(A story regarding the county commission meeting will be in the July 6 issue of the Reflector-Chronicle).

Abilene Assistant Police Chief Jason Wilkins also attended the county commission meeting. He said APD would be releasing information sometime on Friday — after hearing from Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office — explaining how the department will handle the executive order.

Wilkins said the information would be available on the Abilene Police Department’s Facebook page.

The executive order is effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, 2020.

Executive order

The order requires any person in Kansas to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or other face covering when they are in the following situations:

• Inside, or in line to enter, any indoor public space;

• Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings, including but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank (Unless directed otherwise by an employee or healthcare provider);

• Waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle;

• While outdoors in public spaces and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

Business/organizations

Also effective at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 3, 2020, all businesses or organizations in Kansas must require all employees, customers, visitors, members or members of the public to wear a mask or other face covering when:

• Employees are working in any space visited by customers or members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time;

• Employees are working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others;

• Employees are working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities;

• Customers, members, visitors, or members of the public are in a facility managed by the business or organization; or

• Employees are in any room or enclosed area where other people (except for individuals who reside together) are present and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance except for infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

Exemptions

The following are exempt from wearing masks or face coverings in the situations previously described:

• Persons age five years or under — children age two years and under in particular should not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation;

• Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering — this includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;

• Persons who are hearing impaired or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication;

• Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines;

• Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service;

• Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided they maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together or are seated together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity; g. • Athletes who are engaged in an organized sports activity that allows athletes to maintain a 6-foot distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity;

• Persons who are engaged in an activity that a professional or recreational association, regulatory entity, medical association, or other public-health-oriented entity has determined cannot be safely conducted while wearing a mask or other face covering;

• Persons engaged in an activity or event held or managed by the Kansas Legislature;

•Persons engaged in a court-related proceeding held or managed by the Kansas Judiciary; and

• Persons engaged in any lawful activity during which wearing a mask or other face covering is prohibited by law.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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