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Shawnee Co. eases mask recommendations



TOPEKA, Kan. – Following suit with federal and state guidelines, Shawnee Co. is also loosening recommendations when it comes to mask-wearing and social distancing.

Shawnee Co. Health Officer, Dr. Erin Locke released new guidelines Thursday afternoon that recommend unvaccinated individuals who are not able to maintain social distancing should continue to wear face-covering while in public spaces and when interacting in private spaces with unvaccinated individuals from other households.

The Shawnee Co. Health Dept. also recommends that everyone should keep wearing masks while in a crowded indoor setting such as hospitals and other healthcare settings, long-term care facilities, correction or detention facilities, and homeless shelters.

Unvaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask in most outdoor spaces, according to the new guidance.

However, everyone is advised to keep wearing a mask while using public transportation, taxis, or ride-sharing services.

“The updated guidance today highlights the incredible benefits of vaccination. We have approximately 70,000 residents in Shawnee County who are now safe to take off their masks and do all the activities they did before the pandemic,” said Dr. Erin Locke, Shawnee County Health Officer. “Every person who gets vaccinated makes our community safer, and we’re glad that they are also personally benefiting from that decision.”