KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While COVID-19 cases are decreasing nationally, doctors in the Kansas City area worry about loosening some restrictions right now.
Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System, said it may be too soon to end mask mandates.
"From a pure health care lane, I don't think the evidence is clear enough right now that it is safe to go indoors without a mask," Stites said.
On their daily media briefing Thursday, doctors acknowledged the more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 in the Kansas City area as the highest since February.
"The seven-day rolling averages have continued to increase, we've seen about a 25% increase in the average number of new cases per day over the last two weeks, so not an insignificant change," said Dr. David Wild, vice president of quality and safety at the University of Kansas Health System.
Doctors also said it's important to keep in mind those are just reported cases, but there are likely more out there.
Following Thursday's Johnson County Board of Commissioners vote to drop a mask requirement, it's now up to business owners to continue to enforce masks inside.
Becky Hanf, owner of Mission Fresh Fashion, said she will recommend them to her customers but will not require them.
Hanf was surprised the county did not wait to reach its goal of 50% of eligible residents having one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
"It seems a little early, but I know that so many people are wanting it to be a personal choice and I understand that, but the personal choice for us is to keep them on," Hanf said.
Hanf said watching the numbers over the next few weeks will be crucial.
"Then you know we’re going to have to make a choice of what’s best for the safety of our customers," Hanf said.