Atchison County Commissioners unanimously voted to take no further action at his time on the masks.
The action Tuesday, April 6 followed some rather extensive discussions concerning the matter during the morning workshop session, which resulted in vote during the business meeting in the afternoon.
However, prior to the vote, Superintendent Andrew Gaddis, USD 377, and Superintendent Renee Scott, USD 409, both shared concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 if the mask order would be removed.
An attorney and Atchison County property owner, Michael Kuckelman, offered public comment and advised Chairman Jack Bower about the recent Statute SB40 and Section 1 that dictates only school boards have the power to require mask wearing and protocols regarding school property and functions.
Gaddis indicated he will make a recommendation to USD 377 Board of Education members to continue the mask requirement.
Scott said the 409 district has it in their plan to have masks worn all this school year, although the COVID plan has loosened somewhat. It could be optional, but it could be more effective for the community if all were to be on the same page.
Scott did commend commissioners on their decisions made early on in the pandemic because Atchison County’s numbers were outstanding in comparison to other counties in the state.
Director Wesley Lanter, Atchison County Emergency Management sent a statement advising the public that Atchison County no longer has local health orders or the Mask Mandate in place.
“People are still encouraged to use caution while in public,” Lanter urged on behalf of county health officials along with guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The CDC and KDHE continue to recommend public health measure in an effort to stop the spread of Covid-19. The public health measures apply to everyone, including those who have been vaccinated.
The recommendations are:
Wear a mask in public.
Avoid poorly ventilated areas.
Wash your hand often and avoid touching your face.
Get tested if you are experiencing symptoms.
Please continue to do your part in slowing the spread.