McPherson passes mask order

William Snesrud
McPherson Sentinel

(Used by permission from CrossDove Writers and

Toward the end of the Monday, July 27, McPherson City Commissioners meeting, the Commissioners discussed the previous vote on requiring face masks within the McPherson City limits.

After a verbal presentation by McPherson Mayor Tom Brown, the Commissioners updated the ordinance regarding Face Masks within the city of McPherson to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 29 by a unanimous vote.

According to the ordinance the requirement of wearing a face mask within McPherson will run until 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, September 9.

Some of what was discussed by Mayor Brown included the recent increases in cases as reported by the McPherson County Health Department as well as the worrying trend of increased COVID-19 spread as being a danger to the health and safety of every McPherson citizen.

Mayor Brown also pointed out that COVID-19 can also present a serious threat to reopening and reviving the McPherson economy if we do not take the effort to get ahead of the curve.

It was pointed out that wearing a mask in public is the easiest and most effective way to protect each other and help keep our businesses open and our economy running. Wearing a mask in public is not only safe and easy, it is necessary to avoid more restrictive local measures that could involve closing businesses, schools, organized youth sports, and other important community activities.

The ordinance points out that the governing body of the City now believes it is in the best interest of the City to amend the City Code to provide for and ensure the health, safety, security, and welfare of the people of the City of McPherson by requiring that masks or other face coverings be worn in public spaces.

Face coverings shall mean a covering of the nose and mouth in a secured way with ties, straps, or loops over the ears.

Masks or other face coverings can be made of a variety of synthetic and natural fabrics and ideally would have at least two layers.

The ordinance does talk about Public Space, which means any indoor or outdoor space or area that is open to the public. This does not include private residential property or private offices or workspaces that are not open to customer or public visitors.

THE ORDINANCE STATES – All persons in the City of McPherson shall cover their mouths and noses with a mask or other face covering when they are in the following situations:

Inside any public indoor public space where distancing of six (6) feet at all times is not possible.

In line and waiting to enter any indoor public space.

Obtaining services from the healthcare sector in settings, including but not limited to, a hospital, pharmacy, medical clinic, laboratory, physician or dental office, veterinary clinic, or blood bank, unless directed otherwise by an employee or healthcare provider.

Waiting for or riding on public transportation or while in a taxi, private car service, or ride-sharing vehicle.

While outdoors in public spaces and unable to maintain six (6) feet of distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

Exemptions for which individuals are exempt from wearing masks or other face coverings in the situations described are:

Persons age five (5) years or under – children age two (2) years and under in particular should not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.

Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering – this includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance;

Persons who are hearing-impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing-impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.

Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform a service.

Persons who are seated at a restaurant or other establishment that offers food and/or beverage service, while they are eating or drinking, provided they maintain six (6) feet of distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together or are seated together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity;

Athletes who are engaged in an organized sports activity that allows athletes to maintain six (6) feet of distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

Persons who are engaged in an activity that a professional or recreational association, regulatory entity, medical association, or other public-health-oriented entity has determined cannot be safely conducted while wearing a mask or other face covering.

Persons engaged in a court-related proceeding held or managed by the Kansas Judiciary.

Persons engage in any lawful activity during which wearing a mask or other face covering is prohibited by law.

Persons engaged in religious activities protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution including but not limit to worship services; however, religious institutions are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing, appropriate hygiene precautions and mask wearing.

Person at the McPherson Water Park so long as protocols announced by the Water Park from time to time are maintained. Masks shall be worn when in line awaiting entry to the facility.

Any persons found violating the provisions in the ordinance shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be fined ten dollars ($10) per occurrence. Court costs shall not be levied.

Any comments and/or questions regarding the Face Mask Wearing Ordinance should contact the McPherson City Commissioners at:

Mayor Tom Brown at

Commissioner of Public Lands Gary Mehl at

Commissioner of Public Works Larry Wiens at