Clay County gives businesses the option to have full occupancy if they require face masks


LIBERTY, Mo. — Clay County is giving some businesses some leeway on reopening restrictions if they require employees and guests to wear masks. 

The county said Wednesday it will remain in its Phase 2, Step 2 of recovery, but it has been extended and amended. The new order goes into effect Sunday, July 5, and will run through July 20. 

Businesses and organizations have to continue at 50% occupancy — with one exception. 

Clay County businesses can return to full occupancy if they require all employees and visitors to wear face masks in any indoor public space or when in close contact with others. Social distancing standards also still have to be applied. 

You don’t have to wear a mask while actively eating or drinking or while playing a sport or exercising, health officials say. 

This change applies to spaces like grocery and retail stores, public transit, churches and special events. 

However, taverns and bars, along with swimming pools, must stay at 50% occupancy. 

There are some people exempt from wearing a mask:

  • Children under the age of 2. Kids 3-9 are encouraged but not required.
  • People with disabilities that prevent them from comfortably wearing or taking off a mask or communicating with it. 
  • People with respiratory conditions that are exacerbated by a face mask or people who have been told by a doctor not to wear one. 
  • People who are hearing impaired or who are communicating with a hearing impaired person. 

Another change from Clay County’s announcement Wednesday: Youth sports for kids 5 and younger can resume, and full contact sports practices can also begin in groups of 25 or under. 

Large gatherings like weddings or funerals are still limited to 250 people. 

Cities and counties across the metro and across the US are requiring people to wear masks in public. 

Clay County’s mask order is optional for businesses unlike those in Kansas City, Jackson County, North Kansas City, Wyandotte County and more.  

When Kansas City began its mask mandate on Monday, it also removed its capacity limit for businesses.

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