Bourbon County Leaves Mask Mandate to Entities

The Bourbon County Courthouse.

At the Bourbon County Commission meeting on Tuesday, April 6, the commissioners decided to continue following the federal Center for Disease Control guidelines requiring masks.

The community’s businesses, churches, and other entities can decide for themselves.

“We will continue requiring masks at the courthouse,” Commission Chairman Lynne Oharah said. “As far as the rest of the county,  the (Kansas) legislators overrode the governor’s (mask) mandate. It would be up to individual businesses and entities to determine whether or not they want to follow CDC guidelines.”

Lynne Oharah

In county operations other than the courthouse, it will be up to individual elected officials to determine if they will follow the CDC guidelines, he said.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the CDC are still recommending people wearing masks when in public, practicing social distancing, practicing good hygiene, and staying home when sick, Rebecca Johnson, administrator at the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department, said.

Rebecca Johnson, SEKMCHD Director.

Governor Kelly reissued the mandate until May 28, but the legislative council overturned the mandate, Johnson said.

The governor has not reissued mitigation protocols for schools, she said.

“But USD 234 had decided to continue to require masks,” Johnson said. “USD 235 has stopped requiring masks.”



The health department is continuing with offering COVID 19 vaccines in its’ office in Fort Scott.

“We do have the Johnson and Johnson vaccine available now,” she said. This vaccine is a one-dose.

As of Monday, April 5, the county health department has administered 2,022 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Community Health Center and Walmart are also administering vaccines to the community, she said.

If interested in a vaccine, call the health department at 620-223-4464.


County Statistics of COVID-19

Johnson said there have been twenty-five  COVID-19 deaths in Bourbon County, statewide-4,927 deaths.

Bourbon County has had 1,347 cases of the virus, 303,227 in the state, she said.

According to the CDC website, there were no deaths from influenza in 2020-2021 in Kansas, Johnson said.

“I believe that is from wearing masks,” Johnson said.

“Flu season runs from September 1-May 31,” she said.  “According to CDC, 0 cases reported in Kansas, but I don’t believe all data has been submitted yet. ”

In 2019-2020, there were 118 deaths from influenza, she said.



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