Mayor Lucas says Kansas City will move forward with reopening plan on May 15

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite seeming hesitant just one day before, Mayor Quinton Lucas said Friday that Kansas City will move forward with its reopening plan on May 15. 

On Thursday, Lucas announced a new outbreak at a Northland assisted living center where seven residents and four staff had tested positive for the coronavirus. 

At a press conference Thursday, Lucas said he wasn’t sure he would be ready to announce plans for more businesses to reopen next week.

But it appears the mayor has changed his mind. 

“I am proud of our responsible, methodical reopening approach that has helped flatten the curve,” Lucas said in a news release Friday. “As such, Kansas City will move forward with its responsible reopening next Friday.”

Although he did not directly reference the assisted living center’s outbreak, Lucas said the last several days have shown the damage that comes from asymptomatic people infecting others unknowingly. 

As of Friday, Kansas City has recorded 730 positive COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths, according to the city’s health department. 

“As we continue working to increase our testing capacity and contact tracing capabilities, I implore all who can to continue working from home and to limit all non-essential outings,” Lucas said. “And, please, stay home if you are sick.”

Lucas plans to hold a press conference Monday to provide reopening guidelines for restaurants, which will be allowed to open their dining rooms on May 15. 

The mayor ended the stay-at-home order on May 6 to begin a soft reopening for many businesses

Nonessential businesses like retailers, salons, barber shops and advertising companies must follow a 10/10/10 rule where they are allowed to have 10% building occupancy or 10 people inside, whichever is greater.

They are also encouraged to keep contact information for anyone inside for 10 minutes or longer, to help with contact tracing. 

Lucas previously said that restaurants would be held to the 10/10/10 rule when they reopened, but many restaurant owners have expressed their frustration with the occupancy limits

Essential businesses are exempt from the rule. Social distancing is still encouraged for all businesses. 

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