January 13, 2021
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas—in consultation with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer, M.D. and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Erica Carney, M.D.—today extended Kansas City’s State of Emergency and announced updated COVID-19 safety guidelines as our community continues its work to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, provided details on Kansas City’s work to vaccinate our community, announced additional small business assistance by extending deadlines for certain business fees, and announced housing assistance for those experiencing homelessness.
Mayor Lucas has extended Kansas City’s State of Emergency to May 1, 2021. Mayor Lucas’s Twelfth Amended Order takes effect at 10 p.m. today and expires contemporaneously with expiration of the State of Emergency, unless extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in a subsequent order in the interest of public health.
“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,” said Mayor Lucas. “Thanks to thousands of Kansas City families reimagining this holiday season; changing beloved traditions; and sacrificing travel and time with far-away 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. While restaurant, tavern, and bar closing hours will push to midnight, Kansas City government will continue to direct all establishments to strictly adhere to masking, social distancing, and capacity requirements, and will continue to strongly enforce our rules. Tomorrow, I will also be introducing a measure that would provide several opportunities for deferred business tax payments and fee waivers.”
“I am pleased that many frontline workers have been inoculated,” continued Mayor Lucas. “We will continue working to ensure our vaccination process is efficient and equitable, with availability to all, including our underrepresented Black and brown communities. Thank you to all who have sacrificed so much over the past 10 months, particularly those over age 65 and in at-risk groups. We must remain diligent about wearing our masks, avoiding large crowds, and washing our hands. Brighter days are on the horizon.”
“January is on track to be one of our busier months regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths,” said Dr. Carney. “Although vaccination distribution is underway, our local healthcare workers continue to focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19. We need your continued help in protecting our busy hospitals by decreasing your risk of infection. It remains as important as ever to wear masks, socially distance, and wash your hands frequently.”
Twelfth Amended COVID-19 Order
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 are as follows:
- 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 six 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.
Vaccination Efforts Underway
Mayor Lucas and Dr. Archer today 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 healthcare 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 healthcare workers not affiliated with a hospital or medical group.
Kansas Citians interested in signing up to receive more information about COVID-19 vaccination opportunities should complete an online survey found at kcmo.gov/coronavirus.
Small Business Assistance
Mayor Lucas introduced a proposal in November directing City administrators to review all annual licensing fees for the Kansas City service industry and small, locally-owned businesses, and to identify fees eligible for deferral, reduction, or waiver for establishments that remain in full compliance with Kansas City’s Emergency COVID-19 Order, as enforced by Kansas City government.
Following review, Mayor Lucas will introduce an ordinance during tomorrow’s City Council meeting that would provide any Kansas City business with annual revenue less than $2 million the flexibility to defer license tax deadlines until April 30, or 60 days after Kansas City’s State of Emergency is rescinded, whichever is later.
Kansas Citians interested in signing up for text updates from the City of Kansas City regarding COVID-19 should text COVIDKC to 888-777. For more information, visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov/coronavirus or kcmo.gov/coronavirus. You may also call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services hotline at 877-435-8411 for questions regarding COVID-19 in Missouri.
This press release was produced by the City of Kansas City. The views expressed here are the author’s own.
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