KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Starting Tuesday, March 24, residents in Jackson County, Johnson County and Wyandotte County will be under a stay-at-home order.
The order will run through April 24.
Under the order, residents are directed to stay at home except for essential needs.
Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and health care facilities will remain open.
Examples of essential businesses and services that will remain open during this time include critical governmental services, infrastructure projects, childcare, health care, grocery stores, pharmacies and delivery/carry-out/drive-through services from restaurants.
As part of the order, schools on the Missouri-side of the metropolitan area will be closed through April 24. Kansas schools have already been closed through the end of the academic year.
“People can still live,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said during a news conference Saturday afternoon. “If you don’t have to go to work this week, then don’t go to work this week.”
Lucas said that starting the order on Tuesday allows for employees to return to their place of business if they need to collect items.
“There is no reason to go out and run out all the grocery stores, to hoard toilet paper, to do any of that type of activity," Lucas said. "Our supply chains are good in this country. Our supply chains continue to be good. You can continue to go to the grocery store, continue to take care of necessities, take care of your family, take care of close personal acquaintances. If you’re the one who checks on the nice lady next door, right, these are the sorts of things that we’ll still allow you to do.”
In a news release from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Chief Medical Officer Allen Greiner said the order is "critical" to slow COVID-19's spread.
"The best way to do this is to stay 6 feet or more away from everyone possible– even if they do not have symptoms that include a fever, cough and shortness of breath," Greiner said in the release. "If we don’t act, the virus can spread very easily. Sometimes people who have the virus don’t know it. If you are close to someone like this, they can infect you and many others. This is why we must follow the public health order for everyone to stay at home.”
Kansas City International Airport, as well as buses and trains will still be operating during the order. Parks also will remain open, Lucas said, but people should continue to maintain social distance.
Leaders plan to announce additional details during a 1 p.m. news conference Sunday at Union Station.
Lucas said violators face ticketing, fines and forced shut down of businesses.