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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Council approved an ordinance Thursday requiring masks in school buildings again.

Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced the ordinance Thursday, looking for same-day approval, which required at least nine votes in favor. The council voted 10-2 for the school mask order, with council members Heather Hall and Brandon Ellington against the measure.

Hall said the city doesn’t need to be telling people how to live their lives, whether that’s through vaccination or mask wearing, claiming city leaders are not thinking about other people.

“We need to protect our health care workers,” she said Thursday. “We also need to protect our first responders. Nobody says anything about the fire department or the police department. They’ve been working non-stop since all this happened.”

Lucas fired back to that though, claiming he’s just trying to make sure people don’t die from COVID-19. He just announced he had the virus on Dec. 31.

“I’m blessed that I am one of those breakthrough cases,” he said Thursday. “But fortunately I’m sitting in front of you now, and I’m in front of you now because I was vaccinated and boosted, and that I’m here so quickly.”

The ordinance mirrors another that just expired on Jan. 1, 2022, requiring people inside school buildings and on school buses to wear face coverings.

It will take effect on Jan. 9 at 11:59 p.m. and expire at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 unless the council takes up action again to rescind or extend it.

Exemptions to the mask order are:

  • Those under the age of 5
  • Those who have documented medical conditions that prevent wearing a mask
  • Those who communicate with deaf or hard of hearing individuals
  • Those who are alone in a separate room or office