Two northeastern Kansas counties are backing off mask mandates they imposed last month as coronavirus cases surged.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that county commissioners in Brown and Jackson counties argued that they had weathered a wave of infections, and dropped mandates requiring people to wear masks against the advice of public health officials.
In south-central Kansas, Reno County commissioners kept a mask mandate in place.
In Brown County, Hiawatha Community Hospital CEO John Broberg said he was “disappointed” in the county commissioners’ decision to rescind the mask mandate.
Kansas has reported more than 216,000 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since the pandemic reached the state in early March, or one case for every 13 of the state’s 2.9 million residents.
It also has reported 2,548 deaths, or one for every 1,143 residents.
However, the state also saw new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases peak at 2,767 for the seven days ending November 18th and drop since that date.