Wyandotte County not yet ready to change mask mandate

Officials to meet Monday to discuss adjustments
Wyandotte County Courthouse.jpg
Posted at 3:04 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-15 00:02:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wyandotte County is still struggling to vaccinate its residents against COVID-19, according to Mayor David Alvey, prompting a meeting next week to discuss new national guidance on mask wearing.

Alvey recently told 41 Action News that only about 30% of the county population is vaccinated.

“I do think there’s a lot of people who feel, ‘Hey, I already had the virus and I’m immune to it now,’ so they’re not jumping out to get the vaccine,” Alvey said.

Because of this, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and Kansas City, Kansas, announced Friday that a commission will meet on Monday regarding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s relaxing of mask wearing for those who are fully vaccinated.

Despite the CDC’s change, the Unified Government Health Department “continues to recommend that the Unified Government maintain its existing health order requiring mask wearing indoors (unless everyone is vaccinated),” according to a tweet.

Alvey said the national recommendation shows that progress is being made on a larger scale, but mask wearing has “always been about controlling the spread” so hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with patients.

“What we need people to do is be honest with one another and understand that if you choose not to be vaccinated, you are still putting yourself at greater risk and maybe putting others at risk,” Alvey said.

Wyandotte County has the lowest vaccination rate in the metro. As of Friday only about 30.45% of people in Wyandotte have received their first dose, compared to 59.1% in Jackson County and 52.8% in Johnson County.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article included a different date for the commission meeting. Wyandotte County announced a new date for the meeting, which is now reflected in the article, after publication.