COVID-19 case surge triggers renewed look at restrictions

KCMO mayor says new order could come soon
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Posted at 5:46 PM, Nov 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-11 19:23:17-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The surge in COVID-19 cases has Kansas City-area leaders thinking about issuing of another order to flatten the curve.

According to the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department COVID-19 tracker, there were more than a thousand new cases last week with 12 new deaths.

In total, KCMO has seen 17,290 cases and 239 deaths, according to that data.

KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas told 41 Action News Wednesday he's thinking about another order in the hopes of keeping people safe.

"I don’t know if we can turn back the clock and go into a full complete shutdown, although you’ve seen that in other countries in the world — you’ve seen that in the United Kingdom — and so everything remains on the table, but certainly it’s not preferred," Lucas said.

Lucas indicated for the most part restaurants have complied with the orders and he's working with the city's health officials to see where the spread is occurring to pinpoint the directive for the next order. Lucas did raise concerns about the city's bars.

"We’ve seen more problems with bars. Bars that get crowded and not following the spacing rules where everybody is standing up and just interacting without masks, and so we would really continue to look I think more closely at the bar scene rather than your established restaurant scene right now," Lucas said.

Meanwhile, the rise in cases and any future restrictions worries some local restaurant owners such as Sam Silvio, owner of Em Chamas Brazilian Grill in Kansas City's Northland.

"Just very frightening to tell you the truth," Silvio said. "If they’re going to shut us down, if they’re going to go to 25%, then compensate us — but not compensate us so we can make money, compensate us so we can stay alive."

Silvio mentioned the need for another round of PPP to keep restaurants such as his alive.

"It could put us out of business if there’s not any assistance from the federal government," Silvio said.

Throughout this pandemic, Silvio told 41 Action News, his restaurant has followed all the restrictions and guidance from the city.

"We’re doing everything we can to keep the public safe," Silvio said. "We’re insisting on customers come in the door, they have to have a mask on. They walk to their table, they have to have it on. We’re spacing the chairs 6 feet apart. We’re at 50% capacity."

Back in March, the most restrictive orders included limiting gatherings to 10 people, shutting down bars, gyms and hair salons among other businesses. Restaurants could only do take out orders.

Lucas said does not see those kind of restrictions happening with a new order, which could come in the near future.

To view the current KCMO order, click here.