More than 20 complaints made during first day of Kansas City's mask policy

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Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 18:52:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas's face mask mandate went into effect in Kansas City, Missouri, Monday.

Anyone going inside a public building is now required to wear a face covering.

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department will be enforcing the mandate by asking customers and businesses to hold each other accountable.

As of 5 p.m. there were 21 Health - Communicable Disease 311 complaints according to the city's 311 database.

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Day 1 of face mask mandate brings handful of 311 complaints

The Health Department will follow up with businesses in those complaints one by one, beginning with a phone call to determine if the business needs a reminder about the rule or if it is actively ignoring it.

Joe Zwillenberg, owner of the Westport Flea Market Bar and Grill, said he welcomes the oversight by the public and the government.

"You might get that new employee who just moved here that maybe doesn't know about the ordinance going on and fell through the cracks," Zwillenberg said. "The last thing any restaurant wants to do is get somebody sick."

After an initial follow-up call from the health department, next steps, if necessary, include sending a certified letter, visiting the business, sending a mitigation order and pulling the occupancy permit.

The Health Department wants to stress that customers hold the power. If they see a business not allowing for distancing or not enforcing mask-wearing they should leave.

Dr. Ed Ellerbeck, Chair of the Population Health for University of Kansas Health System, wants to stress the scientific evidence behind mask-wearing.

"It's built on several tiers, we have the actual physics level, we know that masks actually reduce the aerosol produced by a person who might be infected and reduce the chance of transmission," Ellerbeck said.

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