NewsLocal News


KCMO city council passes modified mask mandate

How To Tell When It’s Time To Replace Face Mask
Posted at 4:10 PM, Nov 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 22:05:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted 11-2 Thursday to pass a less restrictive mask mandate.

The measure advanced out of committee Wednesday.

"I think we’ve seen a continuing decline in current cases among our adult population in Kansas City. That’s what it is based on," said KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas. "We followed data throughout this entire process. We got in responsibly. We’ll get out responsibly."

Lucas says he supports the change. With many adults not following the mask mandate anyway, the council's focus is now shifting to more important measures like vaccinations.

"We’ll still push vaccinations. We’re still saying, 'Folks, we need protection and make sure they are wearing masks,'" Lucas said. "But importantly for us, we’re really making sure we’re looking at the school kids and others."

It requires masks to be worn by everyone in school buildings or on school buses.

In other public settings, however, the mandate will be allowed to expire.

There are also exceptions to the new mask rule.

Those with a medical or mental health condition, or with a disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask, are exempt.

People communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing, in which case seeing the mouth is essential, also may remove their mask.

Lastly, people who are alone in a separate room or office do not need to wear a mask.

Council members Heather Hall and Brandon Ellington were the only two in opposition.

"When we get out of our lane as a municipal government and do things that school boards should be doing, or DESE or the State of Missouri should be doing and we’re going in there and going around them, I have a problem with that," Hall said. "The second thing I have a problem with is that in most of our schools, many of these schools have children from multiple jurisdictions. They are going to be confused.”

The city’s existing mandate is set to expire at midnight Thursday.

There was no other measure under review by the council to extend the mandate.

In Jackson County, Missouri, the county legislature voted to extend its mask requirement through Nov. 22 after voting down a measure sponsored by three opposing members that would have ended it early.

Under state law, the new mandate can only last for 30 days, at which point the council would reconsider and either extend, modify or eliminate the requirement.

The council set the new order to expire Dec. 2.