KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas on Monday announced new restrictions meant to limit the spread of the coronavirus at a time when new cases and hospitalizations are spiking in the metro area.
The new guidelines laid down by the city include:
- limiting indoor gatherings to a maximum of 10 people
- closing restaurants, taverns and other venues at 10 p.m., and requiring them to impose social distancing in the buildings
- having no more than 50 percent capacity within businesses
- having individual indoor and outdoor parties at these venues to be no more than 10 people
- requiring masks for everyone indoors and outdoors at these facilities except while actively eating and/or drinking
- requiring all businesses and restaurants to immediately report known COVID-19 cases to the Kansas City Health Department.
- requiring mask-wearing in all indoor spaces and in outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained
- requiring mask-wearing in all gyms, fitness and rec centers, and publicly-owned facilities
The city is asking people to report violations to COVIDviolations@kcmo.org.
"We are in the toughest moment since this virus came into our communities, and overcoming this crisis requires an aggressive and immediate response,” Lucas said. “State lines, county lines, and city lines are nothing more than street names. It takes leadership and all of us—our entire region—to slow the spread.”
Going into the day, there were 22 ICU hospital beds available in Kansas City, and 97 available metro-wide. The average daily hospitalizations currently in the metro hovers around 165 new hospitalizations per day.
“Without these additional protective measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission, we as a community will continue to see this epidemic spiral out of control,” said Dr. Rex Archer, Kansas City's health director. “Not only are we seeing record increases in new cases and COVID deaths, we will also experience additional deaths that could have been saved if there was room in the hospitals to treat these other conditions. If everyone takes personal responsibility to follow our new orders dozens of lives will be saved.”
Lucas, before the announcement, had authored an opinion piece Sunday in The Kansas City Star, saying the city needs to take the coronavirus more seriously.
"On Monday, I will share additional public health guidance that is informed and backed by science," Lucas wrote in The Star. "While Kansas City will create necessary parameters, fighting this virus will require participation from you. I ask you to act in the best interest of not just yourself, but your entire community."
Kansas City is experiencing an "uncontrollable spread" of the coronavirus, health officials warned last week. The metro area, the entire State of Kansas and the State of Missouri have set daily and weekly records of new cases this month.
The mayor's office and health officials have remained in discussions in recent weeks as the country experiences another wave of the virus.