Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas Extends Stay-At-Home Order To May 15
The mayor's emergency order was originally set to expire on April 24.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has extended the city’s stay-at-home order to May 15 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
He says there is a consensus among local health officials.
“Frankly, nothing is more important that nine public health directors from nine different counties here in western Missouri and eastern Kansas, our own health director in Kansas City, Missouri, have suggested that we take these key and important steps,” he told KCUR Thursday morning.
The order follows Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's announcement on Wednesday that she would extend statewide stay-at-home orders until at least May 3.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson was set to make an announcement on his state’s order Thursday. Lucas said his office is hearing indications Parson will also announce a May 3 deadline.
Lucas said he didn’t expect the different dates to be an issue, indicating that he expected other Kansas City-area governments to follow suit.
“I’m confident that if you are a responsible local government official in the Kansas City area, that you will have May 15 as your date,” Lucas said at a press conference Thursday afternoon.
“The reason I’m confident of that is that these aren’t ideas by Quinton Lucas or (Kansas City health director) Rex Archer, these are endorsements from the Johnson County health director, the Wyandotte County health director … health directors from all throughout the region.”
Lucas said the outbreak is more severe the Kansas City region than in other places like Hutchinson, Kansas, or Fulton, Missouri.
“I know as someone who spoke to a family that lost someone this week, a Kansas City, Missouri, paramedic, I’m not comfortable just saying that we should reopen when that may lead to someone’s loss of life. Ask if you want that to be your mother your father, your cousin, your brother, your spouse,” Lucas said.
Residents of Kansas City and Jackson, Clay and Platte counties in Missouri, and Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties in Kansas have been under stay-at-home orders since March 24. Those orders were initially imposed for 30 days.
Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer said if Kansas City is able to follow orders now, he still expects at least three additional shutdowns over the next 24 months as the virus re-surges.
“If we don’t do it well, it’ll be more often than that and much worse close-downs than we’ve had so far,” Archer said.
Kansas City EMS Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney urged people once again not to come to the emergency room if they are exhibiting symptoms.
“I can tell you after working in our Level 1 Trauma Center emergency department last night, it was the busiest shift I’ve had in a few weeks… I discharged about 95% of them,” Carney said.
She said people who can should stay at home and call a primary care physician rather than call 911.
Lucas said the city is looking to find additional money to loan to small businesses suffering amid the pandemic.
Lisa Rodriguez is the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. She also covers Kansas City, Missouri, city hall. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.