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Kansas City Mayor Extends Mandatory Face Mask Order

Scott Canon
Kansas News Service

Coronavirus surge prompts extension of mandatory face coverings in Kansas City.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is extending the mandatory mask order indefinitely as the numbers of coronavirus cases continue to rise. Bars and taverns will remain open but with capacity limited to 50%.

“The virus is spreading fairly broadly, wearing a mask outdoors and in close proximity can help keep you, your friends and your family safe from COVID-19,” Mayor Lucas says.

Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer is also increasingly concerned about the spread of the disease, reminding Kansas Citians that wearing a mask is an essential part of staying healthy as schools plan to reopen and fans hope to attend sporting events.

Archer says, "The number one thing we can do to be slowing down and bringing this outbreak under control is wearing a mask. If we can get ninety five percent or better of our residents doing that on a regular basis then we can bring it under enough control within disease outbreak investigation. Contact tracing can put out the small fires.”

Archer admits there are instances where a wearing a mask is not an option. For example, there are respiratory conditions or breathing troubles that make it difficult for some to adhere to the order. Also, behavioral health professionals have indicated face coverings can cause anxiety in some instances.

And, he’s calling for cooperation during the pandemic, urging calm over confrontation when there is a philosophical difference about wearing face coverings.

The original mask order went into effect on June 26 and was set to expire on Sunday. Employees or those who enter indoor public spaces in Kansas City are required to wear masks if they can't maintain six feet of social distance. Business owners are being asked not to allow anyone refusing to wear a mask.

Bill Grady has worked in Kansas City media for decades, reporting on local issues including city government, police and the fire department.
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