KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri’s newest mask mandate is in effect. Masks are no longer required anywhere in the city except on school property, on school buses and in school buildings.
“It’s good I think. It’s one step closer to get us back to how life used to be,” said Ian Kelley.
Katie Murray agreed.
“We’d very much love to walk around and see smiles and get to interact with people like that,” she said. “That’s been some thing we’ve all been missing for a couple of years now,” she said.
While some people felt relief over Kansas City’s new mask mandate, others find comfort in continuing to mask up.
“I certainly don’t feel any detriment to my existence when I wear masks, so I certainly prefer it,” Gavin Cain said.
Kacy Lewallen is going to continue to wear her mask in Kansas City as well.
“Kansas City is kind of a more high traffic area I feel like and the numbers sometimes have been up, so just out of safety precautions,” she said.
Kansas City, Missouri Interim Health Director Frank Thompson supported the move to allow the mask mandate to expire because most of the city is out of the high transmission range as determined by the CDC. But the Mid America Regional Council COVID-19 tracker shows cases beginning a slow ascent, and that worries some people.
“I think it’s unwise,” said Hallie Hottle. “Every time we drop the masks are infection rates go back up. I’ve got a little one here that can’t wear a mask yet so I think masking is important to keep our community safe.”
Tameca Williams owns sweet shop Sugar Rush Berries. Her Plaza location has been open for a month and always under a mask mandate. She is glad to drop her in-store masking policy.
“I really can’t police anything and I’m kind of glad that it is over so that I don’t have to enforce that upon my customers,” Williams said.
Just because she doesn’t have to doesn’t mean Williams won’t mask up herself. Working in her store, she wears a mask on her chin, ready to use when she feels she needs it.
“I’m really not too worried about the mask mandate,” Williams said. “I just hope that everybody is responsible and takes their own personal precautions, whether it’s get vaccinated or continuing to wear their own mask.”
It is a decision Jay Richmond would like to make for his children.
“It shouldn’t be something that administrators or schools or cities are involved in it all,” he said.
Richmond is the President of the Northland Parent’s Association, which filed a Federal lawsuit August 29, against all Northland school districts and the city councils and mayors of North Kansas City and Kansas City, Missouri, to stop mask orders being enforced in schools.
The group believes masking is a medical decision that should be made by parents with guidance from their children’s doctors.
The new Kansas City mask ordinance drops the mask mandate throughout the city, except for on school property, in school buildings and on school busses throughout the city. The Northland Parent’s Association filed an expedited motion Friday, to block what they call Kansas City’s mask mandate that applies only in schools.
“I would like to see the school districts get back to actually just teaching,” Richmond said. “worrying about teaching math and history and science. Those levels that are in our school district are appalling. The kids are not learning what they need to learn.
Kanas City Mayor Quinton Lucas responded to the lawsuit by saying in a statement:
“This mask mandate helps protect students, teachers, faculty, and staff—and all of their loved ones at home—and I and the City will continue to stand by our actions, which were made to protect our children and our vulnerable friends, families, and neighbors.”
The lawsuit has not yet been scheduled for a hearing. Kansas City’s current mask mandate expires December 2, at which time it will be reevaluated.