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Kansas City Keeps Mask Mandate But Drops Other COVID-19 Restrictions

Kansas City Mayor discusses a change in COVID restrictions during a February press conference.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced on Monday that face masks will still be required at most indoor gatherings, but capacity and social distancing requirements will be dropped.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the city is approaching a time when there will be no coronavirus-related health orders.

Kansas City is easing coronavirus-related restrictions again as vaccination rates increase, but face masks will still be required at most indoor gatherings.

Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Monday that business and indoor gatherings will no longer be subject to any capacity restrictions or social distancing requirements. But people over the age of 5 will still be required to wear a mask indoors when within six feet of another person.

There is one exception: Lucas said people at indoor gatherings will not be required to wear masks if everyone knows that each other is vaccinated.

Masks are also not required for outdoor gatherings.

“It is important to have at least some level of a mask requirement around, ongoing,” Lucas said. “I know that other metropolitan counties are considering abolishing a mask requirement altogether. Here in Kansas City, we do not believe that it is safe to do so, particularly in close, tight, indoor environments, and so we will continue to push that forward.”

The latest change to the city’s emergency order will go into effect Friday at 12:01 a.m. and lasts until May 28.

The removal of prior restrictions comes as almost 25% of the Kansas City metro population has been completely vaccinated, according to the Mid-America Regional Council, while an average of 21 people are still being hospitalized with the virus each day.

Lucas said that 62% of Kansas Citians over the age of 65 have completed their vaccinations. He encouraged people to get vaccinated, saying that he hopes this is the city’s last emergency order.

“Emergency orders aren’t the sorts of things that are supposed to be around forever, and they’re not supposed to be around even for a long time,” Lucas said. “I hope that after May 28, we have a chance to live in a Kansas City without orders, where more people are vaccinated, where things are as close to back to normal as possible.”

Lukas Kenney is a news intern for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him on Twitter @kenney_lukas.
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