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The Harvey County Commission voted unanimously (2-0) at its Oct. 19 meeting to extend a local order requiring face masks be worn in Harvey County in a continued effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The order was extended until such time it is rescinded, superseded or amended.

The order requires individuals to wear a face mask over their nose and mouth in any indoor or outdoor public space where social distance of 6 feet cannot be maintained at all times.

"I am hopeful our state and our nation make substantial progress mitigating COVID-19 in the coming months. If that happens, we can rescind this order sooner rather than later," said Harvey County Commission Chair Randy Hague. "With more events moving indoors and the holidays upcoming, we're going to do our part locally to slow the spread of COVID-19."

This is the third extension of the local face mask order. The original order was approved July 15 through Aug. 11, and subsequently extended through Sept. 15 and Oct. 19.

"Our best defenses against the spread of COVID-19 are washing our hands frequently, social distance and wearing a face mask," said Dr. Doyle Detweiler, Harvey County public health officer. "These individual efforts are how we keep our schools and businesses open."

There remain exceptions to wearing a face mask in the order, such as children under 5 years old and younger, individuals that are deaf or hard of hearing, and individuals with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents them from wearing a face cover.

Face masks remain required inside county government facilities.

The Commission also voted to remain in the Phase Out guidance of the Harvey County Health Reopening Plan. The plan does not restrict mass gathering limit size.

Local Harvey County data on COVID-19 can be found here.