Countywide mask mandate to end Sunday, Manhattan mandate still in effect

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(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

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.

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My name is Bailey Britton and I am the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.