Johnson County won’t drop mask mandate for K-6 students as COVID cases spike among kids

On Thursday, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to keep the county's public health order in place requiring masks for students up to and including 6th grade. The board, however, rejected a motion to extend that order to all students K-12 and will review the K-6 one within the next six weeks. Above, a student reads at Crestview Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District.

Crowded hospitals and a winter surge of sickness from the highly transmissible Omicron variant trumped emotional pleas against face masks Thursday, as Johnson County commissioners decided to let stand a requirement for masks in elementary schools.

The seven-member commission briefly considered extending masking through 12th grade but eventually decided to leave that decision to individual school boards.