Masking in the Kansas City metro creates confusion across city and state lines

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Masks on. Masks off. It depends where you are. In fact, Kansas City’s current mask order could end in a little more than 24 hours.

The city council will debate Thursday a proposal to reduce mandatory mask-wearing strictly to schools and buses.

The patchwork of mask orders is causing confusion across the metro, and to ease some of that we looked into where local orders stand.

It’s the accessory most people never wanted, but many needed. Before March of 2020 you might get some odd looks wearing a mask, but now, at least in parts of the metro they are required.

“If you go into State Line or you go into Prairie Village you might have to – or you don’t have to wear a mask, but if you’re in Missouri you have to wear a mask, so it gets pretty confusing. Sometimes you take a mask out of the car, sometimes you don’t,” Kansas City resident Dan Fitzgerald said.

In the metro masking is all over the map. North of the river, Platte and Clay counties have no mask mandates. Johnson County and the City of Independence encourage masking for the unvaccinated.

Wyandotte County and KCK’s mask order is in place until November 18. For Jackson County, their mandate is set to expire on November 22. While Johnson County is only encouraging masking, the City of Roeland Park has it’s own mask order in place.

Jessica Harris lives in Olathe, but on Saturday she’s opening her business Sweet Kiss Brigadeiro on the Country Club Plaza across from Sephora. They specialize in Brazilian confections. Harris says she’s happy to abide by the mandate as long as needed.

“It’s part of my life. Everywhere I go I need my phone, keys, and mask,” Harris said. “I want to make sure that not only my employees are safe but the community safe as well.”

Elementary school student, Patrick Fitzgerald, agrees. He says masking during the pandemic is necessary for people to avoid the virus.

“I hope they stay with the masks on because I feel like a lot of people are going to have COVID without masks and I don’t want a lot of people getting sick and people running around with COVID,” Patrick said.

According to KCMO’s proposed changes, kids like Patrick would need to continue to wear a mask at school and on the school bus, but wouldn’t have to in public.

Others feel like it’s time to move on and let people make their own choice.

“In my honest opinion I think you should let people be people and make their own decisions. If people feel comfortable wearing a mask allow them to wear a mask. If people don’t want to wear a mask it’s their own prerogative,” Mission resident, Edwin Chavez said.

“I feel like it should be something they should make up their mind. It’s been long enough. I feel like we should finally find a verdict on this and finally be united on it,” Overland Park resident, Shane Garmin said.

The proposal to change the mask ordinance heads to the City Council Thursday afternoon.

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