Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has extended the city’s state of emergency and updated its restrictions and safety guidelines. The Covid state of emergency will now continue until May 1. The news comes as states like California continue to see spiking Covid rates despite the most rigorous restrictions in the nation.
“In early November, COVID-19 cases were rising at a concerning rate, our hospitals were at capacity and our community was trending in a concerning direction — but together, we stabilized,” Lucas said. “Thanks to thousands of Kansas City families reimagining this holiday season, changing beloved traditions and sacrificing travel and time with faraway loved ones to help us get through this difficult moment, we lowered COVID-related hospitalizations and deaths.
“But our work is not done, and today we are again presented with tough decisions as we work to keep our community safe and our economy open. I know our COVID-19 guidelines have saved lives. I also understand regional alignment — creating consistent and concise guidelines so businesses throughout our metro can operate on an equal playing field — is important for continued community compliance.”
Restaurants, taverns and all other venues, including wedding and other event spaces, may extend their closing hour from 10 p.m. to midnight to create better regional alignment, while continuing strict capacity and social distancing requirements — coupled with Kansas City government utilizing its robust enforcement apparatus — to keep patrons safe. Additional guidelines include:
- Restaurants, taverns, bars and all other venues, including wedding and other event spaces, shall close at midnight, require social distancing between different parties and limit the number of occupants indoors to no more than 50 percent of building occupancy. Indoor and outdoor patrons at these facilities must be seated, and also masked at all times except when actively eating or drinking.
- Indoor and outdoor parties are limited to a maximum of 10 people, and parties shall be spaced with no less than 6 feet of distance between themselves and individuals from any other parties.
- Restaurants, taverns and bars must immediately report known COVID-19 cases to the Kansas City Health Department.
- Indoor gatherings are limited to 10 persons maximum.
- Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces with more than one person per room and outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Patrons of gyms, fitness and recreation centers are required to wear masks at all times, and these establishments are limited to no more than 50 percent capacity.
In addition, Lucas announced that the Kansas City Health Department this week will receive its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines. These 975 initial doses will be used primarily to inoculate all health-care providers who will be responsible for administering the COVID-19 vaccination to the public on behalf of the Kansas City Health Department, and home-health caretakers and other health-care workers not affiliated with a hospital or medical group.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice