KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Council has voted 10-2 Thursday to extend the city’s indoor mask mandate through Sept. 23.
Council members Heather Hall and Brandon Ellington were the only two to vote against the mask ordinance. See the council’s discussion and vote in the video player above.
The current mask mandate, which Mayor Quinton Lucas put into effect Aug. 2, was set to expire Aug. 28. It came after revised CDC guidelines recommended, in COVID-19 hotspots like Kansas City, that people should be wearing masks indoors — whether or not they’re vaccinated.
The order requires masking while indoors at public spaces that cannot maintain social distancing. Capacity restrictions are not part of it.
Thursday’s council meeting was much calmer than Wednesday night’s committee meeting where residents had a chance to speak out on the issue.
Unlike past mask mandates issued by public health order, a new Missouri law says if these restrictions go beyond 30 days, they must be imposed through ordinances approved by elected representatives.
That’s why the Kansas City Council took up action to approve Mayor Quinton Lucas’ extension.
The process started Wednesday night with a public hearing at the committee level. The transportation, infrastructure and operations committee listened to nearly two hours of heated public testimony.
“Instead of acting like public servants, you are acting like dictators,” one person said.
Others argued the masks are ineffective. However, health experts have repeatedly stressed that face masks are perfectly safe and the most effective way to prevent the rapid transmission of COVID-19.
Ultimately, after public comment, the committee unanimously approved the measure.
As soon as the committee made the vote, the crowd, who had grown more agitated throughout the vote, erupted with shouting.
“Tyrant!” one person yelled from the crowd.
Following the vote Wednesday night, Lucas tweeted, “Thank you to our public health officials and medical experts who continue to look out for our community’s safety. I am glad that the committee unanimously supported their recommendations and our ordinance in the best interest of Kansas City’s health.”