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Jackson County reinstates mask mandate through August

Beginning Monday, Jackson Country residents will be required to wear masks, at least for the next 30 days. The county is reinstating its indoor mask mandate, following other communities.

Many are questioning the decision because, while the county counted 1,139 new COVID-19 cases in the last seven days, there were just four deaths. The Delta variant is more easily transmitted but as a weakened version of Covid, recovery time is faster and the death rate is extremely low.

A “We the People” Freedom Rally is being planned for today at the Kansas City Missouri City Hall at 414 E 12th St.,  to overturn Mayor Lucas’ mask mandate. Organizers say the rally, scheduled for 3:00 rally is expected to draw hundreds.

The group’s Facebook page says this mandate is another ineffective way to combat the virus.

Masks will be required for everyone age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status. The order will remain in effect for 30 days in an effort to stay in line with a new state law limiting emergency health orders to a 30-day period before requiring approval from the local governing body.

Jackson County Executive Frank White said the move was an effort to combat rising COVID-19 cases and ease the stress on the county’s hospital system. White could not explain why vaccinated individuals would be forced to wear a mask.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have relied upon our public health and medical professionals to provide us with the data and guidance that we need to make informed decisions based on science and not on politics,” White said in a statement. “Wearing a mask may not be fun, but it is our best shot at preventing our hospitals from being overwhelmed, keeping our businesses open and our kids in school.”

Kansas City’s own indoor mask mandate resumed this week, but not without opposition: Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the city, calling the mandate “unreasonable, unconstitutional and arbitrary and capricious” and asking the court to invalidate it. The lawsuit came after Schmitt succeeded in temporarily blocking St. Louis County’s mask mandate while a court is set to consider its validity.

Forty-five percent have received at least an initial dose.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice