On Thursday, April 29, the Riley County Commissioners voted to repeal the countywide mask mandate. The mandate will expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 2.
Masks are still required within the Manhattan city limits, including on Kansas State’s campus.
Originally, the county mandate was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 16.
Commissioners cited low positivity rates and a push from people living outside of Manhattan for the repeal.
“Individuals are still encouraged to wear masks when in large groups or indoors with those who are not fully vaccinated. However, it is no longer mandatory,” local health office Julie Gibbs said in a press release.
Commissioner Greg McKinley said he received calls from people both for and against keeping the mandate, and a majority of those in favor of keeping the mandate live in the city limits of Manhattan.
Commissioner Kathryn Focke voted against the repeal.
The commissioners received a letter on the behalf of Kansas State in support of keeping the mandate.
As of the April 28 Riley County Health Department update, the positivity rate in Riley County was 1.7 percent. Only one case of COVID-19 is outside of the Manhattan city limits. There are 42 active cases in the county.
The Manhattan citywide mask mandate is set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on May 16.