Masks remain: Mayor Lucas updates COVID-19 Emergency Order

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas updated the City’s Emergency Order on Monday, which will go into effect on Friday, April 30, 2021 and remain in effect until May 28, 2021, unless modified or rescinded before that date.

As with prior Orders, it will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and may be modified as circumstances change, based on guidance from public health officials and other medical experts.

As of April 22, 34.1%, or 169,025 Kansas Citians have received their first vaccine dose, and 23.9% are fully vaccinated. Kansas City has seen 38,200 total cases of COVID-19 and 561 deaths. More data on Kansas City’s COVID-19 rates can be found at KCMO.gov.

As of April 31, masks are no longer required outdoors, or in private indoor spaces where social distancing of at least six feet can be maintained.

All business facilities, including restaurants and taverns, are allowed to operate at full capacity, provided mask guidelines are followed. Kansas City government will continue to actively enforce regulations related to mask compliance.

Masks are still required in all indoor spaces of public accommodation where six feet of social distancing cannot be maintained. Exemptions to this requirement include minors below the age of 5 and persons who have disabilities for which masks constitute a substantial impairment to their health and well-being based upon medical, behavioral, or legal direction; and persons who are in a restaurant or tavern and are engaged in consuming food or drink while adequately distanced from other patrons; and persons who are obtaining a service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering or mask is necessary to perform the service.

Per U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, any interaction or gathering in which the parties have knowledge that all persons present indoors are fully vaccinated by federally-approved vaccines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are not required to wear masks indoors.

Business and event operators must immediately report any known COVID-19 cases among staff or patrons to the Kansas City Health Department. Businesses found to be violating these regulations may be closed or cited by Kansas City government. The City is taking complaints of non-compliance at covidviolations@kcmo.org or by calling 311.

All Missourians age 16 or older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Get more information or make an appointment.

While an increasing number of Kansas City residents have initiated their vaccination process, a large percentage of residents remain unvaccinated, according to the City. The CDC recommends that all individuals over the age of two continue to wear masks in public settings. The City cited numerous studies that have found that masks help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, and help protect the unvaccinated.

Businesses may still require that all customers and staff wear masks. Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a disability can request a reasonable accommodation from a business. Businesses can deny service to customers who refuse to wear a mask or utilize these reasonable accommodations.

At restaurants, taverns and bars, all patrons must be seated while eating and/or drinking.

Customers and employees of food establishments must wear masks while not actively engaged in consuming food or beverages. This includes waiting to be seated, entering/exiting the establishment, and using restrooms or other facilities in the restaurant. 

Patrons who are exhibiting symptoms shall not be allowed to dine. Employees who are exhibiting symptoms shall not be allowed to work. All employees are required to wear protective face coverings at all times.

All dining surfaces, including tables, chairs and highchairs must be cleaned and sanitized between customers. Cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces like doors, door handles, service counters, restrooms and waiting areas must be completed at a minimum of every 90 minutes.

Patio and outside dining service is allowed with social distancing of six feet between parties; however, no food preparation may take place outside the City-permitted kitchen.

Restaurants must adhere to all requirements set forth in the Kansas City Missouri Food Code, including handwashing frequency, employee health guidelines and proper sanitization of surfaces.

The Mid-America Regional Council has produced a guide to help businesses return to work safely. Additional information on protecting businesses and employees is available on the CDC website.

The City recommends that employers should reasonably accommodate employees that have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of COVID-19 and/or need to care for a minor or sick family member. The City strongly encourages all employers to continue to allow individuals to work from home to the extent feasible, and to make accommodations for individuals at high risk for serious complications from COVID-19.

If someone is being forced to work in conditions without appropriate PPE, they can contact the Health Department through email or by calling 311.

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