Following the release of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s updated mask guidance, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas – in consultation with Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer, M.D. – announced Thursday that effective Friday, May 14 at noon, Kansas City will rescind its Fourteenth Emergency COVID-19 Order.
Kansas City’s most recent order allowed all to go maskless outdoors and permitted unvaccinated persons to go maskless indoors with others who are vaccinated.
“As a matter of compliance, that allowed the Kansas City Health Department to check with retailers, employers, and more to ensure they were encouraging their staff to initiate the COVID-19 vaccine process,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “While welcome, today’s CDC guidance creates confusion with Kansas City’s order.”
The updated CDC guidance leaves behind mask wearing and social distancing for fully vaccinated people – except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
Travelers within the United States do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel, but are advised to pay close attention to the situation at any international destination before traveling outside the United States.
Americans do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless their destination requires it, but they will still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
The CDC advises getting tested three to five days after international travel, but does not deem it necessary to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
Fully vaccinated people who have been exposed to COVID-19 do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless they have symptoms.
However, if they live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, they should still get tested, even without symptoms.
“Throughout the pandemic we have endeavored to ensure clarity and effective public health guidance for Kansas Citians and, importantly, our businesses,” Lucas said. “Staff at many establishments have been subject to harassment based on upholding our orders and we will not force them to do so further where our regulators cannot reasonably tell between those vaccinated or not at an establishment, and where our guidance may conflict with the CDC. We have followed CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so today.”
Lucas said he could not in good faith impose an order, replete with penalties for non-compliance, that is impossible for Kansas City’s businesses to follow.
“We will shift, as is necessary, to ensuring those needing access to the vaccine take it, and that we look out for the continued health and safety of our neighbors,” Lucas said. “We thank the many individuals and businesses in Kansas City who have worked hard to keep us all safe over the past fourteen months. We saved lives looking out for each other and all in Kansas City should be proud of the steps we have taken to protect our community’s health.”
Kansas City will not require any sort of “vaccine passport” or proof of vaccination, leaving some residents concerned that those around them could be lying about their vaccination status. Others view the end of the Fourteenth Emergency Order – the first being imposed on Kansas City in March of 2020 – as a return of individual freedom.
Healthcare and government agencies throughout the City have ramped up vaccine administration, and 36.7% of the population has taken a first dose of an approved vaccine, while 30.3% have been fully vaccinated.
There were 244 COVID-19 cases last week in Kansas City, and one COVID-related death.
More information on Kansas City’s COVID-19 response can be found at www.kcmo.gov/city-hall/departments/health/coronavirus.