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Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas Extends Mask Order Until January As Coronavirus Cases Climb

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Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced new coronavirus guidelines in May.

Bars and taverns will remain at 50% capacity. The new order will remain in place until January 16.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas extended the city’s mandatory mask order until January as the number of coronavirus cases continue to rise.

The measure requires that face coverings are worn while inside public spaces and when it is not possible to maintain six feet of social distance. Business owners are also asked to require that customers wear a mask.

The new order expires January 16, 2021.

“Until there’s a widely available vaccine, COVID-19 is here to stay—with serious potential health consequences for those infected,” Lucas said in a statement Thursday announcing the extension. “Mask-wearing, social distancing and basic hygiene continue to be the most effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Under the new State of Emergency order, bars and taverns will remain at 50% capacity.

Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer said it is now “obvious” that the virus is not going away over the next five months. He said there was a 115% increase of coronavirus cases in those ages 20 to 29 between June and July.

“We need every person, every business, every organization to commit to stopping transmission so our kids can get back to school and our businesses can thrive,” Archer said.

The announcement comes as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to climb. The University of Kansas Health System announced this week they had 39 COVID-19 patients on Tuesday — the largest number since the pandemic began. As of Thursday, that number has fallen to 24.

Missouri health officials say the increase in cases is due in large part to spreading within communities, rather than big outbreaks in factories or other facilities, although long term care facilities continue to lead the metro area in outbreaks.

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