Johnson County Board of Public Health votes to revisit mask order Feb. 17

Health order remains in effect for school buildings attended by students up to sixth grade

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners, sitting as the Board of Public Health today, Jan. 6, voted 5 to 2, to revisit the existing Johnson County Board of Health Order No. 001-21 in six weeks. If the data improves, there is the opportunity to review the order before the six-week period. The order requires masks for Johnson County school buildings attended by students up to sixth grade.

“When we put the health order in place, there were three factors I focused on – children ages 5-11 having access to the vaccine, that happened; second focus was the number that would be vaccinated and that number is still fairly low, so I think that’s a concern; third focus was level of community infection rate,” said BOCC Chairman Ed Eilert. “That has skyrocketed to levels we haven’t seen before. As for older students, they’ve had much longer to get vaccinated, and if they have not, I would encourage them to get vaccinated. And they now have access to the booster.”

Johnson County schools are at liberty to continue current safety requirements or consider additional measures, which may include mandatory masking of older students. Johnson County Department of Health and Environment encourages continued safety precautions as COVID-19 cases climb. This week, it provided updated recommendations to schools and superintendents, along with new guidance on COVID-19-related quarantine and isolation timing that aligns with recent Centers for Disease Control and Kansas Department of Health and Environment changes.

The county is closely monitoring vaccination rates among residents, hospital capacity, along with the COVID-19 incidence rate and percent positivity. See the latest COVID-19 dashboard information.

Watch a rebroadcast of today’s BOCC meeting on our website or Facebook,

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