KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -- With more and more municipalities, counties and school districts lifting their mask mandates heading into the holiday season, eyes on Thursday night will be on the Kansas City, KS/Wyandotte County Unified Government.
County and city officials are set to discuss and potentially vote on a measure to extend the mask mandate to Jan. 6. If the body cannot reach an agreed vote, though, the mandate will naturally expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.
Jackson County on Nov. 12 became the latest Kansas City area governing body to lift its mask mandate. Cities and school districts within the county's purview (which includes all areas outside of Kansas City, MO, and Independence) overwhelmingly followed and have not kept their individual mask mandates.
School districts like Blue Springs, Grain Valley and others immediately ceased requiring masks in school buildings. Lee's Summit's school board is set to meet Thursday night to consider ending its mask mandate.
Kansas City, MO's mask mandate ended on Nov. 4, but does still include school buildings and school buses. Independence does not have a mask mandate. Kansas City and Independence are outside of the governing purview of Jackson County.
KCK's current mask mandate was last extended in September. The requirement has been for all indoor spaces.
The New York Times' map of coronavirus transmission shows Wyandotte County has a high-risk area for COVID-19, and data compiled from local hospitals by the Mid-America Regional Council shows a big increase in cases over the last month.
On Oct. 16, there were just 21 new cases reported in Wyandotte County. That amount increased to 119 on Nov. 16. There is no information on how many recent cases include vaccinated people, but nearly half of the county's population is vaccinated against COVID-19.