KCMO loosens reopening rules to allow 50% capacity

May 28, 2020 - 1:15 pm

Kansas City, MO -  Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Thursday he is loosening the set of reopening restrictions to better align with guidelines in Clay, Platte and Jackson counties.

The new order goes into effect Sunday and lasts through July 5 and will allow businesses and institutions to be open at 50% capacity.

The order also eliminates the essential and nonessential designation, but essential businesses can be open at 100% capacity and nonessential can be open at 50% with social distancing guidelines.

"I recognize that Kansas City is not an island," Lucas said. "On one side of us there are no rules, on the other side there are drastically different rules."

Lucas said the new order will require bars and restaurants servers to continue to wear masks and social distancing in restaurants will shrink from 10 feet to 6 feet. The city is still recommending sign-ins with contact information are anyone who visits a business for more than 10 minutes.

Lucas said he strongly recommends everyone to wear a mask and businesses may refuse to service to those not wearing a mask.

Lucas also said the city would be ramping up social distancing enforcement, and fire marshals may close, revoke the license or fine businesses in violation of the new rule.

"When you look at something like a 50% threshold -- that's not restrictive," Lucas said. "It's very reasonable."

The new rule also does not place a limit on the number of people at gatherings -- such as weddings and funerals -- other than what would be in place in the fire and building codes.

"This order allows us to have some teeth," Lucas said.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Wednesday that Kansas City has 1,086 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak started. But cases have remained steady throughout the month of May in Kansas City, and there have been only eight deaths reported since May 15 when the 10/10/10 Rule went into effect.

Kansas City initially went under the mayor’s “10/10/10 Rule for Reopening” on May 15. Under that plan, buildings and businesses that service the public were allowed to reopen with 10% building occupancy or 10 people allowed inside a business, whichever is greater.

The new plan that goes into effect Sunday replaces the 10/10/10 Rule. Lucas said the extension to July 5 allows two full COVID-19 incubation cycles so city health officials can see if measures are working.

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