Kansas Capitol

State Capitol building in Topeka

The Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) voted 5-2 to revoke Gov. Laura Kelly’s new statewide mask mandate in an early afternoon meeting Thursday, April 1.

Kelly had issued Executive Order 21-14 establishing a face coverings protocol earlier that morning — reinstating the previous mask mandate which expired at midnight Wednesday, March 31.

Senate Bill 40 includes a provision that revoked all executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 31, but the governor retained the authority to re-issue the orders under the new process imposed by the bill.

Kansas no longer has a statewide mask mandate, but it does not affect local control. Counties still have the ability to keep their mask mandates in place if they so choose. Miami County commissioners have expressed no interest in adopting a mandate.

Kelly issued 13 executive orders Thursday morning that she said would ensure Kansas can maintain critical pandemic response efforts to keep Kansans healthy, keep businesses open, and keep kids in school. Most of the orders reinstated ones that had expired the previous day.

“Since the pandemic began, my administration has been laser-focused on supporting and protecting our communities and our economy,” Gov. Kelly said after issuing the orders Thursday. “Extending these orders will ensure that our efforts will not have been wasted, and that Kansans and businesses don’t lose the resources they need to get back to normal.”

The LCC’s 5-2 vote followed party lines, with the five Republican members voting to revoke the mandate and the two Democrats voting against revocation.

Senate Democratic Leader Dinah Sykes of Lenexa, who cast one of the “no” votes, said she thinks revoking the mandate sends the wrong message at a time when “we are close to the finish line.”

GOP reaction

Republican leadership, Speaker Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe), Majority Leader Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita), and Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch (R-Ottawa), who cast three of the five “yes” votes, issued the following joint statement:

“Public health mandates should be short-term, data-driven and reserved only for pressing emergency situations. They should not be used to dictate Kansans’ daily lives year after year. If data is the real driver behind the Governor’s approach, then let’s rely on the numbers. In November, the Governor issued her last statewide mask mandate saying there was a “worrying spike” in cases. At that time, Kansas had 5,217 new cases and a 7-day average of 2,430 new cases. Now, Kansas has only 36 new cases and a 7-day average of 216 cases.

“Kansans have banded together for over a year to successfully reduce the spread of COVID — and they’ve done so during a time when most counties had opted out of the Governor’s mask mandate. With cases dropping and no data to support the need for another statewide mandate, the best approach has proven to be local control. We support the continued ability of communities to tailor solutions that work for them, and we urge all Kansans to continue to practice recommended measures of infection control for their health and the health of those around them.”

Local governments like the cities of Paola and Osawatomie still have the authority under home rule to issue their own mask orders. Both communities currently have such orders in place. Louisburg does not.

The Miami County Commission has made it clear in recent study sessions and meetings that it did not intend to put a new mask mandate in place after the statewide mandate expired March 31.

Commission Chair Rob Roberts said Wednesday, March 31, that he anticipated the LCC would revoke any attempt the governor made to issue a new mandate, which proved to be the case.

Executive Orders

While the LCC revoked the mask mandate, it took no action on the other 12 executive orders issued Thursday. Those orders, listed below, will generally remain in effect until rescinded or until the statewide state of disaster emergency expires May 28, whichever is earlier:

  • 21-09 — Extending professional and occupational licenses during state of disaster emergency
  • 21-10 — Temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video communication technology during state of disaster emergency
  • 21-11 — Temporarily suspending certain rules relating to sale alcoholic beverages
  • 21-12 — Licensure, Certification, and Registration for persons and Licensure of “Adult Care Homes” during state of disaster emergency
  • 21-13 — Temporarily prohibiting certain foreclosures and evictions
  • 21-15 — Requiring COVID-19 testing in certain adult care homes
  • 21-16 — Provisions related to drivers’ license and identification cards during the state of disaster emergency
  • 21-17 — Temporary relief from certain unemployment insurance requirements during state of disaster emergency
  • 21-18 — Temporary provisions for employer payment of income tax withholding for work performed in another state
  • 21-19 — Temporary relief from certain tuberculin testing requirements during state of disaster emergency
  • 21-20 — Extending time for Kansas rural water districts to hold annual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 21-21 — Temporary authorization for additional vaccinators during state of disaster emergency

(2) comments

Elembytes

This is going to be one of those things that will come back and bite all of us. People are already acting as if by some miracle that the pandemic is somehow over with and they can come out of their storm shelters and return to life as normal. Hate to burst your bubble but just because numbers have dropped doesn't mean we are out of the woods yet. The vaccines do NOT stop you from getting Covid-19, they will help you to hopefully stay out of the hospital, and off respirators and away from death. The fact is San Diego just discovered a case of the Brazilian Variant which is not very well controlled by current vaccines. It spreads easier and is more deadly. Then there is the U.K. Variant which has caused the U.K. to go back to a 3 week lockdown and schools are closed. This virus has mutated some 7,000 times. Now we have a flood of illegal immigrants flooding across our border many with current covid-19 infections being loaded on buses and planes and put anywhere in our Country. So these removals of mask mandates as they are called is too soon. Think we will find out pretty quickly that we shouldn't have let our guard down too fast.

dcomputerman

Good decision by the Republican LCC and the Miami County Commissioners since masks are completely useless against the virus according to numerous studies by the NIH and CDC. Unfortunately for Paola and Spring Hill, the local politicians follow the Democrat mantra rather than science--Democrat politicians favor masks. Here are some related comments:

Dr. Fauci, “60 Minutes” on March 8, 2020: “Right now, in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences: People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.” (Of course Fauci has changed sides, anything to keep the pandemic--that peaked in May 2020--going so he can continue to rake in the $.)

Dr. Ramin Oskoui, cardiologist at a Senate hearing in December 2020, testified under oath: “Masks do not work.” (The New York Times, Dec. 8, 2020.)

The Wall Street Journal reported on Nov. 11, 2020: “The projected number of lives saved, and the implied case for a mask mandate, are based on a faulty statistic.”

Dr. Paul E. Alexander, a Canadian epidemiologist, wrote: “Surgical and cloth masks, used as they currently are, have absolutely no impact on controlling the transmission of Covid-19 virus, and current evidence implies that face masks can be actually harmful.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Feb. 11, 2021.)

Roger W. Koops, who has a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California, Riverside, wrote: “A ‘mask,’ and that term usually refers to either a SURGICAL mask or N95 mask, has no benefit in the general population and is only useful in controlled clinical settings. Further, it has been considered a greater transmission risk than a benefit in the general population. … In the open environment, no one should be wearing face coverings.” (American Institute for Economic Research, Oct. 16, 2020.)

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 21, 2020, concluded: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

(Dennis Prager)--If you wear a mask, you do so in the belief that you are protecting yourself (and others) from COVID-19. So, then, why do you care if I don’t wear a mask? Doesn’t your mask protect you? If it does, my not wearing a mask may irritate you because you resent my assertion of freedom, my obvious lack of respect for government and medical authorities, and my alleged selfishness, but there would be no rational medical—that is, “science-based”—reason for your objecting to my not wearing a mask. And if masks protect us and others, why have people been refused the right to visit a loved one as he or she lay dying alone? Why couldn’t a person—wearing the same mask a doctor, nurse, or any health care worker wears when entering your parent’s room—enter that room?

There are two possible answers:

One is it’s a tacit admission that masks are essentially useless. You were prevented from visiting your dying father because the hospital believes your loved one or others in the hospital might contract the virus from you, even though you were wearing a mask. Which means those running the hospital don’t believe masks actually work.

The other is that the medical establishment and lay authorities have abandoned elementary human decency in the name of AOC, or “Abundance of Caution.” Forcing hundreds of thousands of people to die alone will go down as one of the cruelest policies ever adopted by American medical and political authorities.

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.