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FAQ: When And How Parts Of The Kansas City Metro Are Reopening

Crysta Henthorne
KCUR 89.3

In a region that straddles two states and multiple cities and counties, some health departments move to ease COVID-19 restrictions faster than others.

Kansas and Missouri have eased stay-home orders imposed earlier this spring to help prevent further spread of coronavirus.

Rules in local jurisdictions supersede statewide orders, however. But, as of May 15, stay-at-home orders in area cities and counties have expired.

So what's open and what isn't? Our latest information will be updated as the situation evolves.


    In Kansas City, Missouri, most non-essential business operations that are open to the public, such as retail stores and personal care services, can resume in-person operations, as of May 15.

    Businesses will need to follow what the mayor described as "a 10/10/10 rule" — that is if they limit customers to no more than 10% of the building occupancy or 10 people, whichever is larger.

    Related: Here's What People Can Do — And Not Do — In Kansas City, Missouri, As Stay-At-Home Order Partially Lifts

    These guidelines will remain place through at least May 31.

    Businesses are encouraged to record the names and contact information of customers on the premises for more than 10 minutes, which will allow the city's health department to contact people if a virus outbreak erupts that is traced to that function. According to the city, "all data will remain confidential and will be used only to address public health concerns and contact individuals who may have been exposed to COVID-19."

    Lucas advised those businesses to require customers and employees to wear masks and maintain at least six feet distance among people.

    Religious services and social gatherings (including weddings and funerals) of 10 people or fewer indoors and 50 people or fewer outdoors were permitted to resume on May 6, with social distancing.

    Establishments such as grocery stores, medical and dental offices, pharmacies, and other essential businesses are not subject to the 10/10/10 Rule.

    In Jackson County, phase one of the reopening plan has begun and will continue through at least May 25.

    Most retail stores, personal service providers, libraries, restaurants, and bars selling food are allowed to open as long as they limit capacity and continue to encourage social distancing among patrons.

    Related: Jackson County's Reopening Rules Are Different From Kansas City, Missouri's — Here's How

    The plan calls for places of business smaller than 10,000 square feet to limit occupancy to 25%, and for businesses larger than that to limit occupancy to 10%.

    Gyms and fitness centers will be able to open on May 18 with limited capacity. Certain businesses, including entertainment venues, and outdoor playgrounds, remain closed for now.


    Gov. Laura Kelly's plan called for a phased-in reopening, which Johnson and Wyandotte counties were following as of May 11, with most businesses allowed to reopen but with social distancing and other restrictions.

    Related: Here Is What People Can And Can't Do As Johnson And Wyandotte Counties Begin To Gradually Reopen

    On May 18, the state moved into what Kelly called "Phase 1.5," rather than Phase 2. This keeps the restrictions on gatherings of 10 or fewer people in place. It also allows nail salons, hair salons, barbershops, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors to open as long as appointments are pre-scheduled.

    Related: Kansas Scales Back Next Phase Of Reopening, But Will Allow Haircuts And Workouts

    Gyms and health centers may also open, but can’t offer classes or locker rooms. Graduation ceremonies are allowed if gathering restrictions are followed.

    Bars, concert venues, museums, movie theaters, community centers, and festivals are still unable to reopen.

    The Kansas News Service reports that there's not a specific targeted end date for Phase 1.5, though the newest executive order says it will “remain in force until rescinded” or until the emergency declaration expires.

    The various phases are based on public health guidelines that would let the economy rev up again as long as contact tracing — the ability to spot who’s been exposed to the virus — is still practical.

    In Wyandotte County, the ReStart WYCO Committee has issued a detailed planoutlining a four-phased approach to reopening.

    A slightly relaxed “Red Zone” calls for the highest level of caution for vulnerable populations, including residents over 60 years old, people whose immune systems are compromised, and those with underlying medical conditions.

    This "zone" remains in effect through at least May 25.

    Related: Here Is What People Can And Can't Do As Johnson And Wyandotte Counties Begin To Gradually Reopen

    The “Yellow Zone” relaxes stay-at-home requirements even further, allowing more businesses to remain open “under caution.”

    The “Green Zone,” the least restrictive phase, does away with most restrictions.

    Dr. Allen Greiner, the county’s chief medical officer, said that COVID-19 data, including the number of hospitalizations, positive tests, and deaths over a 14-day period, will determine when it to move from one phase to another.

    For more information, check your city or county's website:

    Kansas City, Missouri: KCMO Reopens FAQ

    Jackson County, Missouri: Eastern Jackson County Recovery Overview — Phase I

    Clay County, Missouri: COVID-19 Response, Reopening, and Recovery Plan

    Platte County, Missouri: Ongoing Response, Reopening and Recovery

    Johnson County, Kansas: Adheres to Gov. Laura Kelly's Reopening Plan

    Leavenworth County, Kansas: Leavenworth County Plan for "Re-Opening"

    Wyandotte County, Kansas: Restart WyCo: Road to Recovery

    Lynn Horsley is a freelance writer in Kansas City. Follow her on Twitter @LynnHorsley.
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