KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Kansas City now three full days into a mask mandate in public places, if it seems to you like not everyone received the memo — you’re not alone.
FOX4 canvassed 10 large retail and entertainment attractions within the city boundaries on Wednesday and found a little less than half are still making no effort whatsoever to turn away customers who are not wearing a mask.
Everything from gas stations and hardware stores to supermarkets and arts and crafts retailers.
Many have complained to the city’s 311 hotline and website to report businesses not in compliance. Many of the complaints rail against a seemingly toothless patchwork of places where mask regulations are posted on signs but never enforced inside.
A first complaint against a business results in a phone call to a business not in compliance. A second complaint means a person from the KC Health Department will make an in-person visit.
Violations after that can result in fines and include possible temporary business shutdown.
A staff member with the health department told FOX4 that all of the agency’s employees were making field visits to businesses on Wednesday, so no one was available to be interviewed for this story.
At Costco in midtown Kansas City, if you are not wearing a mask, you are not getting in. But across the same parking lot, at a big-box hardware store, FOX4 witnessed several customers, without masks, coming and going, business as usual.
“I guess we’re just not enforcing that,” an employee told FOX4.
It’s a similar scene at many QuikTrip locations and the Hyvee off NW 64th Street in the Northland.
While a manager at Hyvee pointed to prominent signs, urging customers to wear masks, he admitted there is no mandate, at least for now, to turn away a customer not wearing a mask.
On the flip side, Ameristar Casino had an employee positioned at the entrance, to make sure everyone entering is wearing a mask and not presenting any symptoms of Covid-19. A second layer of virus security is waiting at the entrance to the gambling floor.
At the downtown branch of the Kansas City Library, guests need to make an appointment in advance and wear a mask, before walking in.
And beginning on Wednesday, KCATA began making masks mandatory for all passengers on the buses and the streetcar.