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Wichita area takes tougher stance on face masks, bar curfews


September 16, 2020

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Wichita area health officials are cracking down on face masks and bar curfews to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Sedgwick County health officer Dr. Garold Minns made compliance mandatory in a new emergency public health order that took effect Tuesday morning. The Wichita Eagle reports that the order runs through Oct. 21.

The health order has required face masks, an 11 p.m. curfew on bars and a 15-person limit on mass gatherings. But previous versions of the order said that while it was lawful, compliance was voluntary. The update removed wording that the order "cannot be enforced through criminal charges, fines, or civil penalties."

Minns signed the order Monday, as Kansas health officials reported 1,513 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide over the weekend, for a total of 49,899 across the state. Kansas also had 23 new deaths, raising that number to 534 since the pandemic began.

In northwest Kansas, Rawlins County Public Schools announced on Tuesday that it will go to full remote learning for the next two weeks after multiple positive tests for COVID-19 in the district. All activities and practices are also canceled until Sept. 30, KWCH reports.


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