KANSAS CITY, Mo. (News Nation/WDAF) — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas along with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer announced Thursday that the State of Emergency in the city, including the mandatory mask order due to COVID-19 has been extended to Jan. 16, 2021.
“Until there’s a widely available vaccine, COVID-19 is here to stay—with serious potential health consequences for those infected,” Lucas said. “Mask-wearing, social distancing and basic hygiene continue to be the most effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and we appreciate all who take their personal responsibility to protect their family, friends and neighbors seriously. I will continue to work with Dr. Archer and our City health leaders to take any decisive action necessary—especially as we head into the fall and winter months—to best protect our community.”
Archer said it is now obvious to everyone that the virus is not going away over the next five months.
“As we move out of summer and into fall and winter, we will still be confronting this health emergency,” Archer said. “Our cases continue to rise, with a 115 percent increase in the 20-29 age group between June and July. We need every person, every business, every organization to commit to stopping transmission so our kids can get back to school and our businesses can thrive.”
All employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation must continue to 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. Taverns and bars will continue to operate at a 50 percent maximum capacity.
Exceptions to the face covering requirement are as follows:
- Minors, with strong guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas City Health Department that children over aged two wear face coverings.
- People who have disabilities that prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings.
- Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings.
- People who have respiratory conditions or breathing trouble.
- People who have been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings.
- People who are seated in a restaurant or tavern and are actively engaged in consuming food or drink while adequately distanced from other patrons.
Lucas will review this State of Emergency, and update as needed, prior to its expiration.
Since the middle of March, Kansas City has reported 4,781 positive cases of COVID-19 with 80 deaths. The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department does not list how many have recovered.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as a fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The majority of people recover.