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Response to Executive Order on Mandatory Masks

As many of you are already aware, Governor Kelly issued an Executive Order earlier today requiring the wearing of masks in public. There are numerous exemptions in the order, including for those with unrelated health concerns or if wearing a mask creates a risk due to someone's particular work. The best way to understand what the Executive Order actually says and how it may (or may not) apply to you or your business, is to read it for yourself. I'll include a copy of the Executive Order in the comments.

It's important to know, a violation of the Governor's Executive Order is not a crime. Law Enforcement in Kansas does not have the authority to stop, detain, arrest or cite a person solely for violating this Executive Order. As a result, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office will continue to work diligently in keeping our roadways and community safe through traffic enforcement and criminal investigations and will also continue to help members of our community through the Cherokee County Cares Program. We encourage anyone, especially seniors and those with compromised immune systems who would like assistance in obtaining groceries, medication or other essential items, to call our office at 620-429-3992 or 620-848-3000.

However, as previously mentioned, a violation of this Executive Order is not a crime so we will not be responding to reports of someone not wearing a mask.

Please keep in mind though; there are provisions in the order for potential civil penalties so some businesses serving our families and community may make the decision to require their employees to comply with the Executive Order, while others do not. Some businesses may require customers to wear masks, while others won't. Some of our family and friends may wear masks when out in public while others choose not to.

These are challenging times, bringing an increased amount of stress, anxiety, frustration, anger and even fear to many within our community. That's why it's even more important to be kind and respectful to one another.

Stay safe, healthy and God Bless,

Sheriff David Groves

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