Finney County won’t require people to wear face coverings in public.


Commissioners approved a resolution 5-0 stating that people are not required to wear face coverings in public spaces at the commission’s regular monthly meeting Monday.


The resolution comes after Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order 20-52 on July 2 requiring the use of face masks in public spaces.


Within the executive order there is a provision for counties to make adjustments to fit the needs of their community.


Although the commission voted to not require masks to be worn in public spaces, the resolution does state that the Finney County Health Officer "strongly recommends and encourages" people in social gatherings or where it is difficult to maintain social distance to wear a mask.


Commissioner Larry Jones said it should be up to individuals to decide whether or not to wear a mask.


"It points out the risk that you take when you're in a confined area without wearing a mask and points out that it's left up to the businesses to control their employees and customers' request," he said. "I think that's the way we've kind of established it in Finney County and have been operating since June 8."


Commissioner Lon Pishny agreed.


"I'm a believer in personal choice and I believe this does give a person choice, to businesses, to individuals," he said.


The commission also passed a resolution allowing Finney County to accept SPARK funding in the amount of $10,924-665 from the state to recover costs associated with COVID-19.


The contract for Finney County Health Department medical director Dr. Lindsay Byrnes was also approved for another year.