GRANDVIEW, Mo. — The conversation about masks, when to wear them and when it’s unnecessary continues in the metro.
On Wednesday FOX4 received messages that employees at the DMV in Grandview weren’t wearing face masks, so we went to check out the situation ourselves.
In front of employees at the Grandview Municipal Building, there’s a transparent barrier made of Plexiglas. But that physical barrier has holes in it so employees are able to communicate with the public and pass documents.
Christopher Ralph, a customer who said he was renewing his driver’s license, had been impressed by the DMV’s online appointment system and strict capacity. But he said he was shocked that masks were optional for employees when interacting with the public.
“When I sat down the person at the teller window across from me didn’t have her mask on, and so that kind of got me a little concerned. There was some Plexiglas barrier between me and her, but there’s also a little speaking window that you have to speak through directly to talk to her,” Ralph said.
You can briefly see part of the layout in a video uploaded to the Grandview DMV Facebook page promoting the return to in-person work in May. Check out the footage in the video player above.
Customers need to wear masks but employees do not, as long as they meet the requirement that they are behind a physical barrier, according to the current policy at the building.
Valarie Poindexter, a spokesperson for the city of Grandview, said the city has the state contract to run the DMV.
“Staff are allowed to remove their masks at their desks or workstations if proper barriers are in place, or if they are alone. It’s been discussed that a review is probably in order to see if additional steps need to be taken, like wearing masks during transactions as well,” according to a statement from Poindexter.
Ralph, however, disagrees and said the approach is too relaxed.
“This is a public facility, and it even says on the way in that employees and visitors have to wear a mask,” Ralph said.
“I am a physician. I work at an emergency department in the Kansas City area. The numbers are getting to the point where it’s just hard to find enough places to care for these people,” Ralph added.
“And as a physician, it’s frustrating to see when people have such disregard for other people’s health and safety.”
The city of Grandview also reports that employees not only have physical barriers separating themselves from the public but also from their co-workers while at their work stations as well.
The city also offers a drop-off document service for people trying to do city business, which unfortunately cannot be used for things related to drivers licenses. DMV services are handled by a statewide system.