Wichita's mask mandate extended

The Wichita City Council has extended the city's mask order to September 8th.

The mandate was first enacted on July 3, and requires face coverings for residents out in public when social distancing isn't possible. One of the exemptions to this mandate includes those with medical conditions, mental health conditions or disabilities.

Vice Mayor Cindy Claycomb said local hospitals are encouraged by what they are seeing since the mandate was enacted and believe that masking is helping. Via Christi and Wesley report 8 fewer COVID-19 patients in their hospitals compared to August 3rd with 6 fewer patients in ICU. Sedgwick County says the rolling 14-day average of positive coronavirus tests are declining too, from a high of 14 percent on July 23, down to 10.4% currently.

Council members Bryan Frye, Jeff Blubaugh and James Clendenin voted against the mask extension.