Mask mandate lifted in Sedgwick County


Lily Robison, Social Media Editor

The mask mandate for Sedgwick County was lifted effective immediately for up to 90 days on Mar. 24. Businesses and organizations are encouraged to require customers and employees to wear masks by the Board of County Commissioners.

The House approved a bill on Tuesday requiring all districts to give students the opportunity to attend school in-person by Mar. 31. The Maize Board of Education will have a meeting discussing whether or not masks will still be required in roughly two to three weeks, Superintendent Chad Higgins said.

“My objective is to stay in school the rest of the school year with all of our students and really try to keep our students and staff as safe as we can,” Higgins said. “… I think every step we can take to keep people safe and to not have to do a hybrid model again or even worse would be, would be ideal.”

Since schools are unable to social distance in most places, Higgins said he thinks although the number of cases have gone down in the district, masks are the best preventative measure for the time being.

Sophomore Ana Thompson said she believes it is necessary to wear a mask in public places.

“The pandemic has not gone away,” she said. “You never know if someone around you is at [a] higher risk, so not wearing [a mask] is not only irresponsible but inconsiderate as well.”

Senior John Shaar said he feels amazing now that he no longer has to wear a mask.

“I don’t think people should have to still wear masks because there is a vaccine out,” he said.

Vaccines were provided to anyone employed within the Maize school district on Feb. 24 and March 10. Higgins said over 600 people got vaccinated through the district. He said with the mask mandate no longer being put in place in Sedgwick County, he is concerned the recovery may be a bit slower. He encourages community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine through the county and continue wearing masks.

“I don’t want to start the school year with masks next year,” he said. “I don’t want to start in any kind of learning model. I want everybody back in our schools on the first day of school. So, if that’s our goal, if that’s what we really want to do, then I think [we need] to be cautious right now, not just in our school but everywhere.”