Series of Thursday meetings could prove pivotal in Kansas City-area mask mandates

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Posted at 2:50 PM, Aug 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-04 18:56:33-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thursday could prove to be an important day regarding to mask mandates and recommendations in the Kansas City area.

Several school boards, county commissions and health departments are set to discuss masking protocols Thursday.


Johnson County Board of Commissioners

In Johnson County, public health officials recommend county commissioners adopt an order which would mandate masks in public and private schools for students up to and including those in 6th grade.

The order includes students and staff in such environments.

It is set as an item on the board’s action agenda for its 9:30 a.m. meeting Thursday.

If commissioners do not adopt the order, health officials ask that they continue to monitor community spread of COVID-19 and make recommendations for schools.

Olathe Public Schools

The Olathe Board of Education could vote on COVID-19 mitigation protocols at its meeting Thursday at 6 p.m.

In June, it approved protocols that included optional masking for staff and students which took effect July 1.

That guidance allowed for making adaptations to the protocols should the COVID-19 situation in Olathe Public Schools or the community change.

Thursday, the board will see a presentation and recommendation from district staff.

The county epidemiologist will be at the meeting to answer board members’ questions.

Shawnee Mission School District

The Shawnee Mission Board of Education called a special meeting for 5 p.m. on Thursday.

The board already voted 6-1 in July to require masks for all elementary school students until they are eligible to be vaccinated.

A Shawnee Mission School District spokesperson confirmed board members will discuss how Johnson County’s action earlier in the day affects their schools.

Wyandotte County Commission

In Wyandotte County, where just 35% of the population is vaccinated, county commissioners will consider a new mask mandate at their 7 p.m. meeting.

Public health officials say with such a low vaccination rate, “consistent and correct indoor mask usage is the next best form of mitigation against COVID-19.”

With some exemptions, the new mask mandate would require people in Wyandotte County to wear masks in public spaces, health care settings and on public transportation.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Education has already decided to require masks for students, staff, parents and visitors in school buildings for the 2021-2022 school year.


Lee’s Summit R-7 School District

The Lee’s Summit R-7 Board of Education also called a special session to discuss masks.

It will take place at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

Board members will see a presentation containing latest data on community spread and recommendations from schools from organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics and Kansas City Medical Society.

Platte County Health Department

The Platte County Health Department will hold a meeting at 6:30 p.m. to discuss masking.

Health officials will consider whether to issue a mask recommendation or mandate.

They will also talk about school district decisions.

KSHB 41 News has learned protests are planned at the Johnson County, Lee’s Summit, Olathe and Platte County meetings.

A protest is also planned against Kansas City, Missouri’s mask mandate.