The Miami County Commission has scheduled a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 23, to discuss Gov. Laura Kelly’s Executive Order 20-68, which establishes a statewide face-covering protocol to try to slow the COVID-19 spread in Kansas.
The meeting will take place in the Commission’s chambers on the first floor of the Miami County Administration Building, located at 201 S. Pearl St. in Paola.
Kelly’s executive order, issued Wednesday, Nov. 18, gave county commissions one week to craft and implement their own version of a face-covering ordinance that works for them and their communities. Counties that do not create their own ordinance will be automatically opted in to the state’s face-covering directive.
Counties still have the option to opt out of a mask mandate since a bill that limited Kelly’s power to issue a statewide mask order remains in effect. Miami County opted out of the initial statewide mask mandate.
The cities of Paola, Osawatomie and Spring Hill have mask ordinances. Miami County and the city of Louisburg do not. Counties and communities that already have mask ordinances in place are exempt from the order.
A Nov. 15 report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, chaired by Vice President Michael Pence, indicates Kansas has the ninth highest rate of new cases in the United States, based on data collected during the week of Nov. 2 to Nov. 8.
Gov. Kelly's Executive Order 20-68 takes effect beginning 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 25, and will remain in place until rescinded or until the current statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires – whichever is earlier, according to the governor’s office.
The order specifies that Kansans wear face coverings when inside public spaces, or in situations where physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Guidance regarding specific locations or situations in which face coverings should be worn is outlined within the order. It also identifies Kansans who are exempt from the order due to medical conditions and other circumstances.
Executive Order 20-68 can be found on the governor's website at https://governor.kansas.gov/