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WARRENSBURG —To slow the spread of COVID-19, and slow the influx of cases Johnson County is seeing, the Johnson County Community Health Services Board of Trustees has extended the current Face Covering Order through 11:59 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 21, 2020.

This order may be rescinded or extended based on the close monitoring of future cases.

In addition, the order has been amended to offer more clarification.

Under this order, everyone age five and older within Johnson County are required to wear a face covering when in public spaces as is possible.

This includes any outdoor activities when social distancing cannot be maintained.

School districts can determine the best alternatives when face coverings are not a viable option.

This includes providing social distancing and opportunities for frequent hand washing.

Best practice recommendations are that individuals should wear face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

JCCHS states face coverings may help prevent individuals who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others and are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by individuals in public settings.

JCCHS states face coverings should not replace social distancing, but used as an additional layer of protection.

There are some exemptions for people who have a medical condition or disability that prevent them from wearing a mask.

Exemptions are also made for anyone who is hearing impaired and when not wearing a face covering is essential to communication.

Additional clarification when masks are not required includes:

While outdoors when able to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

While exercising outdoors or when exercising indoors and able to maintain a 6-foot distance.

When at home with only members of your household.

When in your car/vehicle.

When actively eating or drinking, or while seated and adequately spaced from others at a food establishment.

When getting a service that requires the temporary removal of a mask, such as during a dental exam, facial, makeup application, etc.

When the removal of the mask is necessary to confirm identity.

When federal or state law prohibits wearing a mask or requires the removal of a mask, such as when going through TSA at the airport.

When requested by a law enforcement officer, medical provider or emergency response personnel.

When at a place of work, safely distanced from other people for example, in your office.

The order was put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and was originally set to expire on Tuesday, July 28, 2020. This extension is an effort to slow the spread.

The mandate relies on businesses to enforce wearing masks and remind customers to do so.

JCCHS recommended that businesses place signs on entrances to notify customers and visitors of the requirement.

Visit johnsoncountyhealth.org/covid19facecoverings/ to download free signage.

JCCHS states consistently wearing a face covering should help slow the spread of COVID-19 and will take the help of every person within Johnson County to make this work.

JCCHS stated in a press release, “this small sacrifice now will help get everyone back to a more normal way of life, while helping get kids back to school and resume regular activities.”

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