COVID-19 Cases Dropped in Kansas Counties with Mask Orders

CDC Report: COVID-19 cases dropped in Kansas Counties with mask orders, rose in others –
The Kansas City Star
As Kansas counties decide how to respond to Gov. Laura Kelly’s new statewide mask order, a new study shows counties that adopted the governor’s first mandate this summer experienced a drop in COVID-19 cases.
Among counties with an order, the 7-day rolling average of new cases dropped on average 6 percent in the month following the mandate. Meanwhile, cases in counties without a mask requirement saw on average a 100 percent increase.
The analysis — conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment — was published Friday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
“Kansas counties that had mask mandates in place appear to have mitigated the transmission of COVID-19, whereas counties that did not have mask mandates continued to experience increases in cases,” the study says.
The findings come as Kelly is emphasizing masks in the fight against the latest wave of COVID-19, which is filling hospitals across the state. Cases have surged to unprecedented levels in Kansas and are now translating into rising hospitalizations.
The Democratic governor’s new order goes into effect on Nov. 25, with the delay designed to encourage counties to adopt their own mask orders. Counties will be allowed to keep their own orders once the statewide mandate goes into effect. Local leaders also have the option of opting out of the order, just as they did in July.
Kelly is also launching a public campaign to encourage mask use and other COVID-19 precautions and rolling out expanded testing across the state.
“I am committed to an all-of-the-above COVID mitigation strategy,” Kelly said Friday.

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