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Wyandotte County moves to 'Red Zone' on Monday as reopening begins

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Posted at 7:46 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 20:46:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wyandotte County will enter the "Red Zone" at midnight Monday morning. It’s not about football nor is it a reason to panic.

It’s actually a sign of progress that Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Allen Greiner feels comfortable beginning to lift stay-at-home restrictions.

The Red Zone refers to phase one of Wyandotte County’s reopening plan, which was released April 30.

Under the plan, people should continue to stay at home except for essential activities, such as grocery shopping and exercising outdoors, while the county remains in the Red Zone. Throughout the reopening process, people are asked to maintain social distancing and continue to wear masks while in public.

“As we enter the Red Zone, actions like social distancing and excellent personal hygiene will continue to be effective tools to help keep everyone safe,” Greiner said. “It’s important to understand that just as we can move toward fewer restrictions in our day-to-day activities, if the data shows it’s needed, we may have to return to more restrictions for limited periods of time. Our goal is to re-open our community step-by-step, while not compromising the health of any of our residents.”

MORE: Full Restart WyCo: Road to Recovery

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Immune-compromised and other people with elevated risk factors for complications from COVID-19 should continue to exercise additional precautions.

Outdoor gatherings remain limited to no more than 10 people — including major sporting events, which are only permitted without fans in attendance.

County health officials will decide when it’s safe to move to the Yellow Zone and eventually to the Green Zone based on the number of hospitalizations and deaths in area hospitals along with the percentage of positive tests.

The Red Zone will last until at least May 25, according to a release from the Unified Government announcing the moderate lifting of stay-at-home order effective Monday.

Each phase is two weeks long, because that is the incubation period for the coronavirus that prompted the lockdowns in the first place.

There have been more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases and at least 64 deaths in Wyandotte County, which has been one of the hardest-hit counties in Kansas.

The plan syncs up with the reopening plan for Johnson County, which also lifts its blanket stay-at-home order effective Monday.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson both allowed statewide stay-at-home orders to expire after last weekend.