KCMO gears up for new mask mandate

KCMO gears up for mask mandate
Posted at 9:02 PM, Jun 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 23:14:26-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People have been stocking up on masks before it's mandatory to wear them in parts of the Kansas City metro this week.

The "KC Heart" masks are the hottest item at the Charlie Hustle store on the County Club Plaza.

"They have been flying off the shelf," Store Manager Ryan Fortney said. "We cannot keep them here, we keep restocking and restocking."

The demand is even higher a mask requirement begins Monday within Kansas City, Missouri, city limits and Tuesday in Wyandotte County .

"Once we saw this pandemic was coming, we were able to get these masks, get them in stock and then keep them in stock," Fortney said, "which was the big key there. So we really ordered a ton up front. And that's allowing us to provide KC with as many masks as they need right now."

But they're not alone. The shelves at some big retailers in town also are stocked with masks.

Around the corner from Charlie Hustle, "Mojo Cycling Studio" is one of many businesses updating their "COVID-19" policies to reflect the changes in the city.

Members now are required to wear a mask in the lobby and common areas, but not while they're riding during class.

The studio shared this statement with 41 Action News:

"As a fitness studio, we have had to be extremely careful in our efforts toward protecting our riders at MOJO during the pandemic. We are currently spacing the bikes in our studio more than 6 feet apart, limiting class sizes, and requiring that all riders wear masks in our lobby and common spaces.
We celebrated our fifth year just this past week, and while we wish we could operate your business at full capacity - we value the health and safety of our community above all else. We hope there is progress soon and that our community continues to take this pandemic seriously so we can ride all together again soon."

Across town at Kansas City Barbell, members have worn masks while working out even before the mayor's order.

"We got to be more aware of what your members are doing outside the gym, so they don't potentially bring a virus into the gym," Owner Jay Ashman told 41 Action News. "And being a smaller gym, we can do that."

Ashman also is taking it a step further to keep his members safe.

"Like if, if you go away to Texas -- we got a couple of members going to Texas -- and I'm like, 'Well, unfortunately, because Texas right now is a pretty bad hotspot, so if you go away, do me a favor and come back and quarantine yourself until you get tested and then if you're negative, come back to the gym,'" Ashman said.

Those who aren't working out, but simply are getting around town, mostly likely will receive a free mask to keep others around them healthy.

The Federal Transit Administration is providing the thousands of masks that RideKC will distribute to passengers beginning this week at transit centers and other high-ridership locations.

"Now, we're not going to get heavy-handed on individuals that forget or aren't quite ready to wear their masks," Dr. Rex Archer, the KCMO Health Director told 41 Action News in a recent interview.

Archer said he believes residents and visitors will fall in line with this new normal.

"Anytime you pass a law, there are a lot of people that are on the fence that will say, ‘OK, it is law,’ they'll now listen to why it's the law and you'll get a lot of voluntary compliance," Archer said.