With stay-at-home order now ending May 6, mayor outlines plan to reopen Kansas City

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas has updated his emergency order, which now ends the stay-at-home order and allows some businesses to open on May 6. During a news conference on April 29, he outlined a Phase One plan for reopening Kansas City.

“I think what we have here is a responsible acceleration,” Lucas said. “We’re going to reopen but we’re going to be smart about it.”

The plan, beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 6, follows a 10/10/10 rule. The rule pertains to some nonessential businesses and goes as follows:

  • 10%: building occupancy, or;
  • 10 people inside: whichever is greater
  • 10 minutes: businesses and organizations must keep track of people inside for longer periods by a sign-in

The soft reopening also includes allowing groups of 10 to gather inside and groups of up to 50 to gather outside, provided social distancing may be maintained. This includes both social and religious gatherings.

Lucas said the rule applies to nonessential businesses that don’t regularly have the public enter. This includes companies like salons, barber shops, and advertising companies.

This will not apply to bars, dine-in restaurants, museums, public access to government facilities, dog parks and the zoo. These are still expected to remain closed until at least May 15.

Lucas specified that every business allowed to reopen must also allow workers to continue to work from home. They must also refrain from terminating or penalizing any workers not comfortable coming into work for the time being. He said some workers may be immunocompromised or in contact with people who are.

All businesses reopening must maintain social distancing guidelines and provide personal protective equipment. Workers must wear PPE as well.

Lucas said he encourages anyone who sees companies not providing PPE should contact the city at 311.

The announcement comes as a major shift from his previous goal of reopening on May 15, nearly two weeks after Missouri and Kansas set their reopenings statewide.

Kansas City, Mo., Jackson County, the KCK Unified Government and Johnson County, Kan. were originally unified when they first announced stay-at-home orders on March 21. However, that unity fractured when it came to extending the orders. Kansas municipalities fell in line with with Gov. Laura Kelly, who is set to open the state in the beginning of May.

Kansas City, Jackson County and other metro municipalities on the Missouri side extended their orders to May 15. However, Clay County was the first to shorten their stay-at-home to May 4. North Kansas City and Platte County followed suit.

Lucas said there has been a decrease in new infections and hospitalizations in Kansas City. He attributed this to the steps taken by the city and its residents during the stay-at-home order

He also encouraged hospitals to begin allowing elective procedures, other broader services. He specified that the city has never curtailed hospitals, and each hospital is free to make their own decisions on services.

“We still encourage everyone to stay home as much as possible,” Lucas said.

He also announced an extension of the state of emergency order. He said this allows the city to maintain restrictions on number of people at events, including weddings and funerals.

“Hopefully by the middle of the summer, we will have much larger events,” Lucas said.

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