During a press conference today from the council chambers on the 26th floor of City Hall, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas extended the city’s Emergency Order with an updated set of guidelines that govern how residents and businesses will move forward in compliance with the re-opening plan.
The new order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, May 31, and will remain in effect until at least 12:01 a.m. Sunday, July 5. It will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.
“As Kansas City continues our re-opening efforts, we ask all businesses and individuals to work in tandem with us to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lucas. “Just because you can go to a bar, restaurant, or event, it does not mean you have to,” calling out pictures he received of a large gathering at Harpo’s in Westport over the weekend.
The new guidelines, effective Sunday, May 31:
· Business operations may continue in-person, provided business operators limit the number of occupants allowed to no more than 50 percent of building occupancy.
· Business operations generally open to the public and operating in a publicly accessible capacity where social distancing cannot be maintained – for example, salons and restaurants – shall maintain six feet of distance between areas of service, such as tables or booths, and mandate all service providers wear masks while providing services.
· Gatherings – including, but not limited to, religious services, weddings, funerals, lectures, and performances – of 50 percent of listed occupancy may continue provided social distancing is maintained.
· Outside events may continue, provided social distancing is maintained.
Additionally, Kansas City requires that businesses accommodate employees with health or safety concerns, or with responsibilities to care for minors or other persons, to not report to work while this Order is in effect, absent undue hardship, if:
· The employee has an underlying health condition that results in a compromised immune system, putting that person at greater risk of death or serious injury if they contract COVID-19; or
· The employee is the primary caregiver for a family member who contracted COVID-19 and qualifies for leave under the Family Medical Leave Act; or
· The employee is employed by a business with fewer than 500 employees, and under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) that employee is eligible for paid leave because the employee must care for a minor child due to the closure or loss of a caregiver resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents and business owners with questions may now call the city’s 311 Action Center and follow the prompts for COVID-19 related questions and clarification on the new set of orders.