Sedgwick County Commission

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Sedgwick County has ended its mask mandate and other safety protocols intended to fight the spread of COVID-19.

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The Sedgwick County Commission voted Tuesday to let public and private K-12 schools opt out of the county’s latest health order.

Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

Sedgwick County’s new COVID-19 public health order relaxes some business restrictions and allows larger gatherings.

Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns issued the six-week health order Tuesday. It takes effect Sunday after current safety restrictions expire.

Minns recommended the changes due to the continued local decline in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Former Sedgwick County Commissioner Michael O’Donnell was fined $25,000 by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for violating campaign finance laws.

O’Donnell admitted to nine campaign finance violations during two elections. The state panel said the fine will be cut in half if O’Donnell pays within 90 days.

Sedgwick County via Twitter

Sedgwick County held an oath of office ceremony on Sunday for two commissioners who are beginning their new terms.  

Commissioner David Dennis is serving a second term representing the 3rd District. Sarah Lopez begins a new career in public service representing the 2nd District.

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Sedgwick County Republicans selected their former leader to serve the remainder of the term for the 2nd District seat on the county commission.

Beth Golay / KMUW/File photo

A new COVID-19 health order for Sedgwick County limits public gatherings to 25 people and continues current restrictions for businesses.

The mandates are in effect Friday through Jan. 9. This latest health order from Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns replaces directives that were in effect since Nov. 13.

Sedgwick County / Youtube

The tumultuous tenure of Michael O’Donnell on the Sedgwick County Commission has ended.

O’Donnell resigned immediately late Friday afternoon after the District Attorney’s Office released a statement saying it was prepared to initiate ouster proceedings next week.

O’Donnell, a Republican, knocked off a four-term incumbent in 2016 to win his seat. Since he took office, he was indicted on federal charges related to the spending of campaign finance money and became embroiled in a political scandal involving a false attack ad in the 2019 mayoral campaign.

Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, Sedgwick County is tightening restrictions on bars, restaurants and businesses that draw large crowds.

Fernando Salazar/For KMUW

When voting ended Tuesday night, Sarah Lopez – the Democratic challenger trying to unseat Michael O’Donnell from the Sedgwick County Commission – was losing by nearly 600 ballots.

But a wave of mail-in ballots has now vaulted Lopez into a 125-vote lead.

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