Independence updates health guidelines with no capacity limits for restaurants

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The City of Independence announced Monday that they are updating their health orders which will go into effect beginning Friday, April 23, 2021.

With the updated guidelines, indoor and outdoor dining capacity limits have been removed with no social distancing requirements. However, customers must be seated when eating and drinking and masks must be worn when not actively eating or drinking.

Large capacity entertainment and recreational venues must limit number of people in the facility to ensure at least six feet of social distancing between people or groups.

Masks are still required in all indoor spaces.

People are urged to continue to wash their hands regularly and stay home if they are sick.

“We are not out of the woods yet, but our numbers are at this time moving in the right direction, which is allowing us to prepare for this next big step forward in our community,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “Our efforts to provide vaccinations, testing, and contact tracing combined with the incredible cooperation of our community to comply with the public health orders has resulted in lower rates of infection, positive cases, and hospitalizations. Meeting these goals and sustaining lower numbers over the next two weeks will allow our community to move into the next phase of reopening.”

Beginning on April 16, the Independence Utilities Center will be open on Fridays.

On May 1, the City of Independence moves to Phase 2 of its Facilities and Services Reopening Plan. This includes opening the Historic Bingham-Waggoner Estate and Vaile Mansion.

The city’s main gaiting criteria for these decisions is the number of new daily cases per 100,000 in Independence zip codes and the surrounding area, as well as hospitalization rates and percent positivity. At this time, the two-week average for positive cases in eastern Jackson County is 3.51%.

CDC recommendations outline communities with rates under 5% have the virus substantially under control.

On April 6 the State of Missouri announced the South African COVID-19 variant had been found in Jackson County and the South African variant had previously been identified in the area. The main risk with the new variants is the potential for them to spread quickly amongst unvaccinated individuals, so the city will continue monitoring to ensure that no uptick in cases is seen.

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