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Kansas City Mayor Announces Some Easing Of Stay-At-Home Orders Prior To May 15

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announces how the city will begin to reopen after stay-at-home orders to fight COVID-19 expire on May 15.

Mayor Quinton Lucas says the number of new COVID-19 infections in Kansas City has declined steadily since April 7.

This story is evolving and will be updated.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced a plan Wednesday that allows some businesses and functions to reopen prior to May 15, when the city’s “stay home” order is set to expire.

Non-essential businesses that do not serve the public, such as factories, will be permitted to resume in-person and delivery operations May 6, subject to social distancing guidance that help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“More important than moving quickly is moving carefully and responsibly, and the steps we’re taking today allow our businesses to return to productivity while keeping their workers and customers safe,” Lucas said in a news release.

Most non-essential business operations that are open to the public, such as retail stores and personal care services, can resume in-person operations, operating under 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, and if they record the names and contact information of customers on the premises for more than 10 minutes. That will allow the city's health department to contact people if a virus outbreak erupts that is traced to that function.

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

Starting May 6, religious services and social gatherings (including weddings and funerals) of 10 people or fewer indoors and 50 people or fewer outdoors are permitted to resume, with social distancing and a record of all attendees.

Hair salons, massage therapists and barbershops can all open as of May 6, but should require all employees and customers to wear masks and limit cash exchanges.

Lucas and Health Director Rex Archer still strongly encouraged everyone to stay home as much as possible through May 15, especially people over 60 or with compromised immune systems.

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

Other businesses and operations, such as gyms, museums, bars and in-person restaurants, dog parks, playgrounds, community centers and government buildings will not be allowed to open until May 15. More guidance will be forthcoming from the health department for those establishments.

There will still be a ban on events larger than 10 people for indoor events, and a ban on events larger than 50 for outdoor events.

Lucas also extended the state of emergency for 90 days, giving him the authority to enact stricter rules as necessary.

More information is available in an FAQ on the city's website.

KCUR's Lisa Rodriguez contributed to this report.

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