KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx with the White House Coronavirus Task Force met with a few mayors whose cities are seeing alarming increases in the number of young coronavirus patients and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas was one of them.
Certainly, bar and restaurant owners in the metro are hoping it doesn’t come to that, but there is a chance they may have to close earlier than usual and that would still hit them hard.
“She let us know the reason that our city was one of those identified was not only some of the growth we’ve seen both in Kansas City, but also the states of Missouri and Kansas but also the fact that they feel that much of what’s happened in the Sun Belt has a chance of happening in this part of the Midwest trying to avoid it,” Mayor Lucas said.
Dr. Birx made several recommendations for our area including enhanced mask requirements while put in public, reducing dine-in capacities to 25% and closing bars at 10 p.m.
International Tap House, or ITap, opened its doors in its Kansas City location in 2017.
Joe Mayers is the assistant general manager and he says they shut down during the first part of the pandemic and re-opened cautiously. They pulled tables out to 50% capacity, canceled tableside service and required masks for anyone who isn’t sitting at their table.
Mayers admits a good portion of their customers are in the demographic Dr. Brix is concerned over and says a lot of them show up late at night on weekends. Being forced to close down at 10 p.m. he says would hurt.
“Especially on the weekends lately our pops on the weekends have happened past 10 P.M. so, it would be taking quite a bit of money out of our pockets,” Mayers said.
Mayor Lucas says he is acutely aware of the strain the recommendations would put on businesses already burdened during this pandemic but says it may end up being necessary to avoid what’s happened in other states and save lives here.
“What I took from yesterday’s call was pretty clear direction from the White House. This is President Trump’s White House, this is not, there a lot of political issues to everything, but this was the White House saying that these are going to be some necessary steps to take to avoid greater problems so we take that recommendation very seriously,” Mayor Lucas said.
Mayor Lucas and other leaders across the city we’re planning on talking Tuesday night about those recommendations. He says they will also be reaching out to local businesses in the near future.