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KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas announces new COVID-19 public health guidelines

Posted at 12:15 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 18:26:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton announced new COVID-19 public health guidelines on Monday.

The new guidelines which go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, and will remain in place until at least 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16, 2021.

  • All indoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10 people;
  • Restaurants, taverns, and all other venues, including wedding and other event spaces, shall close at 10 p.m., require social distancing between different parties, and limit the number of occupants indoors to no more than 50 percent of building occupancy.
  • Indoor and outdoor patrons at these facilities must be seated, and also masked at all times except when actively eating or drinking. Indoor and outdoor parties are limited to a maximum of 10 people and parties shall be spaced with no less than six feet of distance between themselves and individuals from any other parties.
  • Restaurants, taverns, and bars must immediately report known COVID-19 cases to the Kansas City Health Department.
  • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces with more than one person per room, and outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Patrons of gyms, fitness, and recreational centers, including city, school, and other publicly-owned and managed facilities are required to wear masks at all times, and these establishments are limited to no more than 50 percent capacity.

“We are in the toughest moment since this virus came into our communities, and overcoming this crisis requires an aggressive and immediate response,” Lucas said. “State lines, county lines and city lines are nothing more than street names. It takes leadership and all of us—our entire region—to slow the spread.”

Additionally, under the new guidelines, there is no distinction between public and private types of venues.

"If you have a country club event, if you have a members-only event, those are also prohibited under this order, absent some further permissions," Lucas said.

Lucas said he hopes to work with neighboring counties like Johnson, Clay and Platte to try to have some consistency with orders in the KC metro.

"Where the non-KCMO portions are subject to what would be none of our rules and so bars could be open until whatever the limits, we'll work with them to try to build some consistency as time goes on," Lucas said.

When asked what steps could be taken if the guidelines don't slow the spread of the virus, Lucas said there would have to be a more expansive approach.

"If the plan doesn't work then we will need to come back and look to more extensive orders," he said.

The city will reevaluate any further steps that might need to be taken after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Lucas said he consulted with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Erica Carney when coming up with the new guidelines.

Even though the guidelines begin on Friday, Dr. Rex Archer is encouraging people and establishments to begin following them now.

"You don't have to wait 'til this goes into order on Friday, a voluntary compliance is always accepted," Archer said. "We set that date for Friday to make sure that those that have more serious issues in regards to rescheduling would have some more time to work through those dynamics."

This is the eleventh order Lucas has given since March when cases of COVID-19 began to spread.

Anyone who sees a violation of the new guidelines can report them to COVIDViolations@kcmo.org.

The city set up an FAQ on its website for more information.

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