KC board committee may approve mask term extension

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Kansas City’s mask mandate is up for debate again.

The transport, infrastructure and operations committee will hear the order extending the mandate until October 7 at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday. It is currently due to expire on September 23.

Morgan Said, chief of staff to Mayor Quinton Lucas, said in a statement that the Oct. 7 extension date “aligns Kansas City and Jackson County, creating more consistency for our businesses, schools and families.”

How to participate

Members of the public can participate in person or send a written testimony to the Clerk’s Office at [email protected] Written comments will be added to the public record.

It will be broadcast live on website on kcmo.gov and on the city website Youtube channel. Kansas citizens can also watch Channel 2 on their cable system.

Next steps

After public testimony, the committee will vote on what to do with it. Public testimony helps committee members decide whether or not to pass the order.

If the committee recommends adoption of the ordinance, it will proceed to full council on Thursday at 3:00 p.m. Then the council could vote to approve the ordinance.

The Kansas City mandate, which went into effect Aug. 2, applies to people over the age of 5 in indoor spaces, regardless of their immunization status, with a few exceptions.

A few days after the Kansas City mask mandate went into effect, Anti-mask protesters gathered in front of town hall.

Due to Missouri’s new law, public health restrictions must be reviewed by the board every 30 days.

Local and national health experts have indicated that masks and vaccination are the most promising route to control the pandemic.

Last month, the committee held a special meeting to collect public testimony on the order at the Kansas City Regional Police Academy. Nearly 100 people, most of them without masks, shared the debunked myths of COVID-19 and called the mandate tyrannical.

Kansas City Council approved the extension last month with two council members – Brandon Ellington, District 3 in general and Heather Hall, District 1 – voting no.

The data behind

The seven-day moving average of daily cases in the Kansas City metro area on Friday was 493, according to data tracked by The Star.

To date, more than 190,412 cases have been recorded and 2,725 people have died.

A report submitted alongside the order by Acting Kansas City Department of Health Director Frank Thompson cites state data indicating that the daily average of cases has increased by more than 635% since the first week. from June to mid-September. The report states that 97% of counties in Missouri have been identified as having high levels of community transmission.

The case rate in Kansas City is twice the threshold set by the Centers for Disease Control for designation as a high transmission area, according to the report.

The report also said the increase in the number of delta variant cases “was beyond the investigative capacity” of the health department, meaning the department needed to prioritize the cases it was investigating.

This story was originally published September 20, 2021 at 12.57 pm.

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Cortlynn Stark covers Town Hall with a focus on fairness for The Kansas City Star. She joined The Star in January 2020 as a breaking reporter. Cortlynn studied journalism and Spanish at Missouri State University.


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