Jackson County leaders to vote on bringing mask mandate back again

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County Legislature will vote on bringing back a mask mandate next week.

If approved at Monday’s legislature meeting, the new mask mandate would be in effect until Jan. 12.

Jackson County’s mask orders do not apply to Kansas City or Independence, Missouri, where each town has its own health department.

The upcoming vote comes about one month after county lawmakers decided to drop their last mask rule, leading to several school districts ending their requirements as well.

On Nov. 12, a divided Jackson County Legislature voted to end the county’s mask mandate immediately. The vote was 5-4.

Before that vote, Jackson County Executive Frank White asked legislators to support the county’s health department and allow the mask mandate to continue.

But members of the Blue Springs City Council, who were arguing against a mask mandate, said COVID-19 cases were declining at that time in eastern Jackson County with a positivity rate below 8% and vaccines available for those age 5 and older.

The latest COVID-19 data in Jackson County shows a nearly 15% positivity rate over the last 7 days, a 62% increase compared to the last four weeks.

At the time of the last vote, Jackson County was one of three areas in the metro to still require masks across the city/county. Now, only Wyandotte County has a mask mandate, and Kansas City, Missouri, has one in school buildings.

The Jackson County Legislature’s next meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday.

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