KU study concludes county mask mandates in Kansas have stalled major rise in COVID-19

Johnson County mask order

Mask orders have been in place in Johnson County since the summer, requiring patrons to wear masks inside in most situations. File photo.

TOPEKA — Researchers at the University of Kansas report counties with mask mandates thwarted significant escalation in transmission of COVID-19 and counties operating without a requirement people wear a face covering suffered steady infection rate increases.

Elected county government leaders in 80 Kansas counties rejected the order issued in July by Gov. Laura Kelly mandating every Kansas resident to wear a mask in public places where 6 feet of social distancing couldn’t be maintained. Four Kansas counties stopped short of rebuking the governor, choosing to decline to enforce Kelly’s mask order.