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TOPEKA — All Kansans will be required to wear a mask in public places once a new executive order from Gov. Laura Kelly goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3.

Gov. Kelly made the announcement during a press conference Monday, June 29, and said more details will be released Thursday, July 2.

Kelly said Monday there have been 905 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths reported since Friday, June 26.

“We are now trending upward, and that is not good news,” she said.

Kelly said that until a vaccine is available, residents can protect themselves by practicing social distancing, staying home when they are sick and wearing a mask.

She added that clusters are not showing up in businesses where masks are being worn, such as barber shops and dental offices. Instead, they are stemming from gatherings in which masks are not being worn.

“If we want a healthy Kansas economy, we need healthy businesses and healthy Kansans,” she said. “COVID-19 is still in our communities, and it is still spreading.”

The order will not go into effect until Friday because Gov. Kelly said she wanted to give businesses time to acquire masks if necessary. She said the order will go into place before Fourth of July festivities take place across the state.

“I know this is frustrating, I know we all want it to be over, but we’re still in it, and we’re in it together,” Kelly said.

Kansas has 14,443 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in 96 counties that have resulted in 1,152 hospitalizations and 270 deaths, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Kansas has recorded 162,282 negative tests.

Miami County has 31 cases, according to KDHE, including recent cases at Osawatomie State Hospital, North Point Skilled Nursing and the Louisburg Aquatic Center.

Wyandotte County has the most cases at 2,293, followed by Ford County, 2,006; Johnson County, 1,722; Finney County, 1,540; Sedgwick County, 1,260; Leavenworth County, 1,162; Seward County, 971; Shawnee County, 630; and Lyon County, 489.

Editor and Publisher Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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