Mayor Lucas declares state of emergency in Kansas City as COVID-19 spreads

According to a recent release from the office of Mayor Quinton Lucas, Mayor Lucas – in consultation with Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney – today issued a proclamation declaring a State of Emergency in the City of Kansas City as the City continues its work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This State of Emergency has been issued for an initial period of 21 days. This authority is granted under Section 50-155 of the City Charter.

Under the authority of this proclamation, all events with more than 1,000 attendees within the city are canceled or delayed until the emergency has been lifted. Mayor Lucas has also placed a moratorium on all non-essential travel for City employees until the emergency has been lifted.

“We’re working diligently across departments to prevent potential spread – and we’re asking our community members and business owners to do their part in helping to prevent potential spread,” said Mayor Lucas. “Protecting all of our residents remains our top priority, which means that how we interact over the weeks and months ahead will need to change dramatically as we confront our current public health challenge. I appreciate our community’s understanding during this ever-changing time and encourage all residents to continue exercising good judgment.”

“This is the time for residents to take social distancing seriously,” said Dr. Archer. “In addition to washing your hands, covering your cough and avoiding handshakes, we encourage all Kansas Citians who feel ill to stay home and avoid crowds of any size. People with high-risk factors should not go to crowded events.”

Under the State of Emergency, the Mayor may exercise the authority to:

(1)            temporarily waive routine administrative and budgetary requirements that may impede the effective delivery of essential public services;

(2)            order the evacuation of areas where there is a threat to public health and safety, and to designate any public place, public street, thoroughfare, boulevard or parking area and any other place closed to motor vehicles, persons and pedestrian traffic;

(3)            impose a curfew upon all or any portion of the city as designated therein as the mayor may deem advisable during such hours of the day or night as the mayor determines necessary in the interest of the public safety and welfare, and during which all persons shall remove themselves to their places of residence and remain off and away from the public streets, sidewalks, parkways, parks, and all other public or open places, and no persons shall assemble, gather, loiter or otherwise congregate in any manner in groups, assemblies or meetings in any place for any purpose whatsoever; provided, however, that persons performing medical services, essential public utility services, public officials, police officers, firefighters, and all other persons explicitly enumerated in such proclamation may be exempted from curfew;

(4)            order the closing of any and all business establishments throughout the city or any portion thereof during the period for which the state of emergency exists or during the curfew hours;

(5)            order the closing of all retail and wholesale liquor stores, taverns and other places dispensing, serving or permitting the consumption of intoxicating liquor or nonintoxicating beer;

(6)            order the discontinuance of the sale, distribution or giving away of intoxicating or nonintoxicating liquors;

(7)            order the closing of all private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor or nonintoxicating beer is permitted;

(8)            order the discontinuance of selling, distributing or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;

(9)            order the closing of gasoline stations and other establishments, the chief activity of which is the sale, distribution or dispensing of gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products;

(10)         order all regular, special and auxiliary police officers, firefighters and other conservators of the peace to report for duty assignment, such reporting to be in accordance with prearranged plans or under the direction of lawful authority;

(11)         issue orders deemed necessary to protect life and property and to preserve critical resources within the purposes of this ordinance.

Kansas Citians interested in signing up for text updates from the City of Kansas City regarding COVID-19 should text COVIDKC to 888-777. For more information, visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus or kcmo.gov/coronavirus.

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