Jun 29, 2020 10:58 AM

Kansas City, Kansas makes masks mandatory starting Tuesday

Posted Jun 29, 2020 10:58 AM

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — Another Kansas City area community is making masks mandatory amid a surge of coronavirus cases.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, announced Saturday in a tweet that a requirement that masks be worn in public will go into effect at 5 p.m. Tuesday. The community made the announcement one day after Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said that people must wear masks inside businesses and other public places there starting Monday.

The number of confirmed conornavirus cases in Wyandotte County rose Friday to 2,108, up 12% from one week earlier. Its one of the hardest hit counties in the state, which is now recording 13,538 cases and 264 deaths.

Under the Unified Government’s order, mask use will be required in all public indoor spaces including workplaces. Masks also will be required in public outdoor spaces and public transportation with the exception of socially distanced exercise and when eating and drinking.

Meanwhile, Shawnee Mission East High School halted summer conditioning Friday and Saturday after two student athletes tested positive for the coronavirus. Shawnee Mission School District spokesman David Smith said in an email that the specific sports in which the infected students participated will remain shut down until contact tracing is complete.

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KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas removes his mask ahead of a press conference in April-photo courtesy city of KCMO
KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas removes his mask ahead of a press conference in April-photo courtesy city of KCMO

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas – in consultation with Kansas City Department of Public Health Director Rex Archer, M.D. – Friday, announced the next steps in Kansas City’s COVID-19 response efforts and issued a Ninth Amended Order.

Effective Monday, June 29, all employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation must wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible. Also effective Monday, June 29, percentage capacity limits as required by Mayor Lucas’s Eighth Amended Order will be eliminated, except for taverns and bars.

“Our country’s leading health and scientific experts have indicated in no uncertain terms that mask-weari­ng is the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lucas. “Case numbers in Kansas City continue to rise, and we are taking all steps we can to ensure public health and safety. I know wearing masks can be uncomfortable, but this is a necessary step to ensure we can save lives and keep our economy open. We wear masks to protect our loved ones, those around us, and their loved ones.”

“We are keeping a close watch on our cases and hospitalizations, but know widespread mask-use is one essential way to slow COVID-19 and keep Kansas City businesses open,” said Dr. Archer. “It’s up to us. Let’s learn from Texas and Florida and what’s happening there now. Their mitigations and closures weren’t as quickly adopted or embraced. Now their case counts are rising at a disturbing rate and they’ve had to slow their reopening plans.”

Exceptions to the face covering requirement are as follows:

  1. Minors, though Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance recommends that all individuals over the age of two wear masks.
  2. People who have disabilities that:Prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings.Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings.
  3. Prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings.
  4. Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings.
  5. People who have respiratory conditions or breathing trouble.
  6. People who have been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings.
  7. People who are seated in a restaurant, tavern, or bar and are actively engaged in consuming food or drink while adequately distanced from other tables.

Click to Read the Order  and read the FAQ.