INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The City of Independence issued a new COVID-19 health advisory on Friday, as the Delta variant drives up case counts across Missouri.
"This is really just an encouragement for people to take the situation seriously," Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said.
As the pandemic enters a new phase, Independence is encouraging vaccination as soon as possible, and wearing a mask in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.
Social distancing and hand washing, familiar phrases for more than a year, are also included in the new advisory.
"We want people to know this is a situation that we are very concerned about and we want to make sure people are being protected," Weir said.
The advisory does not serve as a requirement and there’s no enforcement component. Instead, it lays out the protocols that have been in place since the start of the pandemic, with new vaccination wrinkles.
At Clinton’s Soda Fountain in Independence, the businesses is welcoming the new advisory.
"I kind of knew that with this new Delta variant we would see an uptick in cases," Lauren Smith, who works at Clinton's said. "I definitely do encourage the use of masks."
With their doors back open and staff masked up, this small business is thriving like never before this summer.
"We just reopened about three weeks after being closed because of the pandemic, and business has been booming," Smith said. "We’re seeing an uptick in customers, more customers than we’ve seen before in previous summers because everyone is so excited to have us back."
They business wants to continue that momentum, delivering delicious treats.
"I know that most of my friends and family are vaccinated and I would like to see a rise in vaccination numbers as we go throughout the year," Smith said.
Weir said this effort is to help the community long term, beyond the summer.
"I’m concerned about getting kids back in school and making sure people can get to work and stay employed and keeping people healthy so kids can continue to be in school and people can continue to go to work and our businesses continue to stay open," Weir said.