KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – On Friday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced that people will now be required to wear masks when at any “place of public accommodation.”

The change will officially take place on Monday, June 29.

The verbiage from the city says: “All employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation must wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible.”

This order will remain in place until at least Sunday, July 12. Kansas City, Kansas is expected to roll out a similar requirement soon. 

The mayor said business owners should refuse service to people who are not wearing masks.

Public Health Director Dr. Rex Archer did point out there should be an adjustment period for the first few days for businesses and citizens to get masks.

“There's a reason we're making a business focus on this,” the mayor said. “We don't want someone stopped on the street.”

Enforcement of the rules will be handled by the health department through complaints. Officers will not be stopping people inside businesses.

“This is the change that will help our economy,” said Dr. Archer. “It will save lives. We're in the second wave in Kansas City.”

Additionally, the percentage capacity limits that were previously required by the mayor’s eighth amended order will be eliminated, except for taverns and bars. This is because the mayor has now issued a ninth amended order as part of his announcement on Friday.

“Our country’s leading health and scientific experts have indicated in no uncertain terms that mask-wearing is the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19,” said Mayor Lucas. “Case numbers in Kansas City continue to rise, and we are taking all steps we can to ensure public health and safety. I know wearing masks can be uncomfortable, but this is a necessary step to ensure we can save lives and keep our economy open. We wear masks to protect our loved ones, those around us, and their loved ones.”

“We are keeping a close watch on our cases and hospitalizations, but know widespread mask-use is one essential way to slow COVID-19 and keep Kansas City businesses open,” said Dr. Archer. “It’s up to us. Let’s learn from Texas and Florida and what’s happening there now. Their mitigations and closures weren’t as quickly adopted or embraced. Now their case counts are rising at a disturbing rate and they’ve had to slow their reopening plans.”

The city also outlined the following exceptions to the face covering requirement:

  • Minors, with strong guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kansas City Health Department that children over aged two wear face coverings.
  • People who have disabilities that:
    • Prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off face coverings.
    • Prevent them from communicating while wearing face coverings.
  • People who have respiratory conditions or breathing trouble.
  • People who have been told by a medical, legal, or behavioral health professional not to wear face coverings.
  • People who are seated in a restaurant or tavern and are actively engaged in consuming food or drink while adequately distanced from other patrons.

The full order can be read here. An FAQ is available here.

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