KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People visiting grocery stores, restaurants, museums and other places of public accommodation within the city limits of Kansas City, Missouri, will now have to wear a face mask beginning Monday.
Mayor Quinton Lucas issued a new mask order taking effect Monday morning and lasting until AUg. 28, with the option to be extended. A previous mask mandate ended in May.
Lucas said a rising number of COVID-19 cases within the city and a vaccination rate below the national average led him to issue the order.
“I honestly, wasn’t surprised [about the new mask mandate],” said Andy Chocha, who frequently works within city limits. “I mean with the increase in COVID cases, it doesn’t surprise me.”
“I think the mayor is doing the right thing in putting us back on masks,” added Richard Barrett, a resident of the city. “I hate wearing a mask just as much as anyone else, but, again, if people aren’t going to do it [get vaccinated], we have to get back to masks.”
Many of the people who spoke with KSHB 41 News said they’ll follow the new mask order and it won’t keep them from visiting their favorite locations.
George Clarke is happy to hear people will still visit their favorite places. He’s the manager of Charlie Hooper’s Bar and Grille in Brookside. The restaurant is part of a group of three under the same ownership. He said during the first mask order, the overwhelming majority of customers complied. In the months since his staff has made public health a priority.
“We’d rather not do it [wear masks],” Clarke said. “I think most of my staff is vaccinated. Those of us who did the right thing and got vaccinated, we did that for the reason to not have to wear masks.”
Clarke feels the mask order turns his servers into police. Adding in the hospitably business, employees shouldn’t have to confront their customers.
“I don’t like to police our customers and I don’t really want to,” Clarke said. “I wish more people would’ve gotten vaccinated and I hope more do now because we’d rather just kind of go back to business as normal as opposed to being a mask police for people walking into our restaurant.”
The current mask order allows designees from the city, police department and fire department to enter a business to check its compliance with the mask order. Failure to comply could lead to the city suspending a business’s license or permit. There is no punitive action listed in the order targeting an individual who fails to comply.
“We just have to do what we gotta do in order to get this thing knocked down,” said Dave Gardner, a diner at Charlie Hooper’s. “I’m hoping we can get under control and get back to life as normal. I’m sure ready for that.”
Information about how to get a free COVID-19 vaccine is available online.