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After 25 deaths since March, Kansas City relaxes several COVID-19 restrictions

Mayor Quinton Lucas has eased several COVID-19 restrictions in Kansas City, Mo. New rules for bars, restaurants and businesses will be in effect through July 5. The city has experienced just 25 deaths from the virus with 77.4% over the age of 70 (See charts below).

“The rule this weekend will change from your 10 percent capacity limit and threshold to a 50 percent capacity threshold,” Lucas said during a Thursday news conference. “We’ll ask everyone to follow social distancing guidelines. We’ll ask everyone when they are going into a public institution, some business, the grocery store, to wear a mask.

Businesses still can refuse service to customers who won’t wear a mask. Lucas said. Workers have several legal protections in the new rules. During this new order, employees can be excused from work who have underlying health conditions that put them at greater risk of death, who are caregivers for family members with COVID-19 or who must stay home with their kids because of the closure of a childcare facility due to COVID-19.

According to the mayor’s office, “the order will be primarily enforced by the Health Department, with support from other city regulatory agencies such as the Kansas City Police and Fire Departments and the City’s Regulated Industries Division.”

Mayor Lucas said the new rules are prompted in part because areas around Kansas City have many different guidelines. He said it is a tough choice:

“There are people that are on one side that say, ‘You should have everything open and we should all be free and you’re terrible and a tyrant,’” he said. “And then there are people on the other side who say, “Blood will be on your hands, you’re terrible and not doing enough.’ Both have their points. I think what we’re trying to do is say, ‘How do we come to a balance?’ But part of that balance also requires everybody out in the world to be part of that.”

Kansas City has had just 1,086 reported cases of COVID-19 since March.

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–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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