KANSAS CITY, MO. — On the eve of Mayor Quinton Lucas announcing new guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19, he described it this as the toughest moment since the virus came into the Kansas City community.
"Some people take it as a joke. It's not a joke, people are dying. And it just cost us a lot of hardships," Gena Ross, a COVID-19 survivor told 41 Action News.
Ross knows those hardships first-hand. The virus sent her to the hospital twice.
"In March I almost died so here I am in November, I made my 50th birthday," Ross said.
Though celebrating a milestone, she's reminded daily of the infection she fought.
"Still shortness of breath. Sometimes, you know, still a little labored breathing they say some of the residual effects can linger for a while," Ross said.
The pace of COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City metro area is a runaway train, nearing 75,000 (by our count) at the end of last week.
"As cases continue to rise, our best chance of being able to do the things that we want to do and do them safely really requires us to be cautious," Dr. Sarah Boyd with Saint Luke's North Hospital dealing with infectious diseases said.
In an op-ed in Sunday's Kansas City Star, Mayor Lucas wrote "The question is not whether COVID-19 will impact you, but when - and how much?"
He plans to roll out his 11th amended order on Monday previewing some of the possibilities going into the weekend.
"That might include a restriction in group sizes we've seen as low as the number of 10 in other areas that might also include looking at bars and taverns and the hours that they're working that's something we've seen in other areas of the country," Lucas said on Friday.
This is as public health experts continue to double down on mask wearing. For Ross — it's a no-brainer to protect everyone in KC.
"If you don't want to wear a mask, wear one out of respect for other people," Ross said.