After the Centers for Disease Control announced its updated mask guidance on Tuesday, recommending everyone wear masks indoors, Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that he is reinstating the indoor mask mandate.
“I have stuck with CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and today is no different,” Lucas said in a social media post. “I will return Kansas City to a mask mandate indoors based upon national and regional health guidance and discussion with other Kansas City leaders.”
Regardless of vaccination status, everyone five years old and up will be required to wear masks in indoor areas starting at 12:01 a.m. Aug. 2 and the mandate will last at least through Aug. 28.
The CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks in substantial and high transmission areas tracked through their COVID-19 data tracker. In Missouri, nearly all counties, including Jackson County are labeled as “high transmission” areas.
In Kansas City, there were more than 3,000 new COVID-19 cases the past week and there were 139 new hospitalizations on July 17, the highest one-day total since January.
“The increasing infection rate in our state and area is a substantial public health concern,” Lucas said. “Still, the most effective way to rid COVID-19 from our community is to get vaccinated, and we will continue our efforts to reach all Kansas Citians in all neighborhoods about the importance of taking the vaccine.”
“Vaccinations are the best of all prevention measures,” said Kansas City Health Department Deputy Director Health Frank Thompson. “As long as transmission continues, variants will continue to develop. We don’t know what the next variant will look like, how virulent it will be and that should concern everyone.”
Jackson County Executive Frank White also announced a mandate yesterday that requires all full-time and part-time county workers to show proof of full vaccination or receive weekly COVID-19 testing. The new policy takes effect on Sept. 30.
The Kansas City Health Department offers COVID-19 vaccine clinics at the Health Department, 2400 Troost Avenue, each Monday-Friday from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.
Any Kansas Citian interested in a COVID-19 vaccine may also call 3-1-1 or visit www.kcmo.gov/coronavirus.
Later this week, Lucas will share additional details related to incentives for Kansas Citians who choose to take the COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the Gucci Mane and Garth Brooks concerts, among other upcoming community events.