Johnson County Commission will hold special meeting to consider Gov. Kelly’s order on face masks

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will hold a special meeting Thursday to discuss Gov. Laura Kelly's executive order requiring face masks in public places.

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The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will convene for a special meeting at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring people across the state to wear a face mask in public places starting Friday.

Johnson County officials had been facing growing pressure from some in the community to issue a local face mask mandate following orders from neighboring Wyandotte and Jackson Counties. A petition started over the weekend asking the Johnson County Commission to issue its own face mask order is now up to nearly 3,700 signatures.

As of Monday, however, the county’s health officials were saying they would rely on a “shared sense of responsibility” and encourage people to adhere to voluntary face mask recommendations.

Kelly’s order, announced Monday afternoon, would make the issue moot — if the Board of County Commissioners here lets it go unchallenged. Recently approved state rules give county officials the ability to overrule or water down statewide public health orders.

Following the announcement of Kelly’s order, Commissioner Mike Brown, who represents a district covering much of the southern and western part of Johnson County, posted on Facebook encouraging people to call Kelly to “let her know what you think about this horrendous decision.”