OSAWATOMIE — Osawatomie’s mask mandate has been lifted, effective May 19.
City Council members made swift work of unanimously adopting an ordinance Thursday night to repeal the city’s mask mandate. The ordinance, approved during their May 13 regular meeting, will go into effect Wednesday, May 19, after it publishes in the Miami County Republic.
The Osawatomie City Council, in a 5-4 vote, rejected an attempt to repeal the city mandate in late April.
Before casting the tie-breaking vote April 22, Mayor Mark Govea said his priority was for people to get vaccinated. Govea said he was in favor of delaying the issue until the council’s May 13 meeting to provide time for more people to become vaccinated.
City Manager Mike Scanlon told council members Thursday night the ordinance was identical to the one he had presented at the April 22 meeting to repeal the original ordinance that established the mask mandate in July 2020.
Scanlon concluded his brief remarks Thursday by noting that earlier that day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a statement that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask outdoors or indoors. The CDC also said fully vaccinated people did not need to physically distance during indoor or outdoor activities. The agency noted a few exceptions, such as still recommending fully vaccinated people wear masks when traveling by plane or other means of public transportation.
No one from the audience spoke in favor or against masks Thursday night. Neither the mayor nor any council members raised an objection to repealing the mask mandate. The City Council voted 8-0 to lift the mask order without further discussion.