(MANHATTAN, KS - December 23, 2021) Beginning Monday, December 27, all visitors and city staff will be required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose when indoors at all City of Manhattan-operated facilities. The requirement applies to people older than two years of age, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated. The decision to reinstate a mask requirement indoors at City facilities was made by City Manager Ron Fehr in response to CDC and Riley County Health Department (RCHD) recommendations.
“The Omicron variant is surging across the country as well as being more prevalent in Kansas, which is putting a strain on local hospitals and medical providers," said City Manager Ron Fehr. “Holiday gatherings and upcoming News Years events are likely to lead to even more spread. Recently, it was necessary to close the Animal Shelter due to COVID-19 exposure and an inability to have enough employees to keep the facility open to the public. Thus, we need to do what we can to reduce the spread, make sure the City workforce can continue to provide essential services, keep our public facilities open, and help prevent the local medical community from being overwhelmed. I encourage community members to get vaccinated if they haven't already, and receive a booster if eligible.”
This mask requirement is related to indoor, City-operated facilities only. There is no City-wide mask ordinance that has been approved or is being considered at this time.
Indoor City facilities include but are not limited to:
- City Hall
- Municipal Court
- Douglass Recreation Complex
- Anthony & Eisenhower Recreation Centers
- Flint Hills Discovery Center
- Indoor areas of Sunset Zoo
- T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter
Manhattan Regional Airport will continue to follow federal laws requiring masks for all people at airports. Masks must be worn at Manhattan Regional Airport, and visitors and travelers should refer to federal guidelines for the latest information.
Signs will be posted at the entry of each facility and masks are available upon request. Contact the City facility for options to conduct business remotely if preferred.
City Administration will evaluate the situation weekly based on CDC and RCHD information and any impacts to City operations. Future changes to City mask requirements will be posted at building entrances.
More information about the City of Manhattan is available online at www.cityofmhk.com, on Facebook at /Cityofmanhattan and on Twitter @cityofmhk.