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Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas extends stay-at-home order

Posted at 5:10 AM, Apr 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-16 13:45:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On the heels of a recommendation Wednesday night from public health officials, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas is extending a stay-at-home order through May 15.

The mayor gave further details on the order in a noon press conference Thursday.

He explained that the May 15 date was chosen to get past the project peak in virus cases and allow officials and first responders to assess where the city is at, at that point.

Lucas emphasized that though the order can be frustrating, it's more important to follow it then have to shut the city down again in a few months.

Dr. Rex Archer of the Kansas City Health Department joined Lucas at the conference.

He expressed anger at how the "disaster" has been handled, citing slow response and lack of preparation over the last decade from the government.

Archer said that we will have to keep closing down three or four more times over the next two years, and only if we continue to do well at social distancing and wearing masks. It will be more if those guidelines are not followed.

Lucas explained that while officials look at reopening the city, they will be looking at ways to social distance at businesses and events once the reopening is possible.

Leaders of three business and development organizations gave their support to Lucas' decision on Thursday morning and urged other cities and counties in the metro to do the same.

The statement reads, in part:

We encourage the rest of the region’s cities and counties to follow the health officials’ recommendation as well. Any decision must be based on the best scientific data we have available and a truly regional approach to stay-at-home orders is the best way to contain the spread of the virus and the deaths that would follow. Taking these precautions now will help prepare our region for a more effective economic recovery when the time is right. Our three organizations stand ready to work with our elected leaders, public health officials, and business leaders in the coming weeks to fully restore our economy.
Joe Reardon, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; Tim Cowden, Kansas City Area Development Council; and Marc Hill, Civic Council of Greater Kansas City

In March, Core4 leaders — including the jurisdictions of Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas; Jackson County, Missouri; and Kansas City, Missouri — issued a stay-at-home order that ran through April 24.

On Wednesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly extended her state’s stay-at-home order through May 3. The state’s existing order was set to expire on April 19.

Kelly said she made the decision in concert with leaders from the Kansas City area and with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson.

On Thursday, Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey said he applauds Kelly's decision to extend the statewide order but did not say whether the local order for Wyandotte County would be extended until May 15.

He said the county will continue to evaluate and analyze data through the state's extension.

"We applaud Governor Kelly’s extension of the statewide stay-at-home order until May 3," Alvey said in a news release. "We will continue to look at the data and take careful, measured steps to protect public health and our community."

Kelly's executive order supersedes all local orders set in Kansas, so both Wyandotte and Johnson counties will be under stay-at-home restrictions at least until May 3.

During his daily news conference on Wednesday, Parson said he would make an announcement regarding his state’s stay-at-home order during his remarks on Thursday. Missouri’s stay-at-home order is scheduled to run through April 24.

Independence Mayor Eileen Weir followed Lucas on Thursday in extending her city's stay-at-home order until May 15. A spokesperson for Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. said he planned to make an announcement regarding an extension sometime on Thursday.

While the governor plans to to announce his update today, legislators in Missouri used Wednesday to announce they will resume the 2020 legislative session on Monday, April 27.