Independence drops mask mandate for public buildings

Stock Independence City Hall 3
Posted at 2:37 PM, Aug 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-03 15:38:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While mask wearing is still strongly encouraged in indoor spaces in Independence, the city’s mayor announced Tuesday they will no longer be required in city buildings.

Last week, the city adopted a public heath order that strongly recommended masks indoors for all people, regardless of vaccination status. The order mandated mask wearing inside of city buildings.

That order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 29, but it didn’t even last a week.

Mayor Eileen Weir said the city has dropped that order and is now back to a public health advisory, which continues to encourage mask wearing.

“Following careful consideration, we are rescinding the public health order and returning to the public health advisory, which strongly encourages masks in all indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status,” Weir said in a press release.

According to data from the Eastern Jackson County COVID-19 data dashboard, the number of county residents testing positive in eastern Jackson County has steadily increased since early July, with the percent positive of tests now roughly similar to early 2021.

The mayor didn’t elaborate on the factors that led to her decision. KSHB 41 News has reached out to the mayor and will update this story if additional information is available.

The announcement comes a day after masks became mandatory in indoor settings in Kansas City, Missouri.

According to data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and local health departments, the number of new COVID-19 cases in the state tripled between June and July, with more than 50,000 new cases reported last month.