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July 20, 2020
Mask Mandate Considerations
The McPherson City Commission met for a second time on July 20, 2020, at their regular meeting to discuss the possibilities of adopting a mask mandate ordinance. The City Commission heard input from those in the community and City Attorney, Jeff Houston, who discussed the detail behind various versions of the ordinance.
The option in which a majority of the governing body selected was only requiring a mandate if a specific trigger of worsening conditions related to active McPherson County Cases was reached. The Harvard Global Health Institute in conjunction with other research partners has developed a key metric for guiding coronavirus response. The Study can be found at the following link: https://globalepidemics.org/key-metrics-for-covid-suppression/. The Study updates key data on a county level about the severity of Coronavirus cases by County across the United States. The study rates counties into key risk levels categories:
For the last several weeks, the City of McPherson has stayed in the Yellow Category of Community Spread, which is a moderate spread. Our citizens have done moderately well at containing community spread of COVID-19 to this point. Though our cases have increased, hospitalizations have remained low, and recovery rates have continued to keep pace with new cases. The majority of the governing body agreed that mask mandates should be tied to measurable risk and severity concerns as it related to incidents of COVID-19. The Governing Body in a 2-1 vote agreed that the City of McPherson’s mandate should only be implemented in the event of McPherson County moves to the Accelerated Spread (Orange) or Tipping Point (Red) Risk Levels. The City will closely monitor the metrics and in the event of McPherson
County moving to the Orange or Red Categories, the City Commission will hold a special meeting to consider adopting the drafted mask ordinance. The governing body felt that tying a mask mandate to measurable factors was the most reasonable means to gauge the need. The Governing Body is strongly encouraging the community to continue the following measures: 1) social distancing of 6 feet when possible; 2) mask-wearing when social distancing isn’t possible; 3) continuous and thorough hand washing; in an effort to maintain and even reduce the current moderate community spread.
The City of McPherson will continue to update Citizens as the status or positive cases change or in the event that mandatory mask ordinance is placed into effect. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation as our community and the whole world try to navigate these uncertain times. We encourage our citizens to check out our website (www.mcpcity.com) and COVID-19 Hub Site (https://mcpherson-area-coronavirus-response-mcpks.hub.arcgis.com/) for safety precautions.