Mayor Quinton Lucas announces new order that allows businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Thursday that he is extending the city’s reopening restrictions through July 5.

The current restrictions were set to expire Sunday, May 31.

Although Lucas did announce he is extending the date, he did add that during this time period, all businesses will be allowed to move to a 50-percent capacity threshold as long as they continue to ensure customers follow social distancing guidelines.

He also added that he does still recommend that businesses keep track of anyone inside their businesses for more than 10 minutes. 

“It is helpful for all of us as we try to conduct contact tracing that you actually do keep some list,” Mayor Lucas said. “That you have that list ready in the event of an outbreak.”

Mayor Lucas said residents should continue to wear masks at restaurants, bars, and other entities where social distancing cannot be properly maintained, but he did say the new order no longer requires tables in these establishments be 10 feet apart, just 6 feet apart moving forward. 

These restrictions are expected to phase out on July 5. That is when the mayor said he will look at expanding the capacity threshold above 50 percent. 

When asked if he’d consider changing the date to July 3, Mayor Lucas said, “Holidays–I want people to be able to enjoy them, but they bring crowds together. These crowded events can bring people from out of the state and out of the region, and that can create a greater threat.”

The Mayor did say Thursday that Clay County commissioners have started the process of transferring $11.66 million to Kansas City to fund testing, contact tracing and other COVID-19 prevention efforts. 

Beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Kansas City residents can call 311 to access information on how an asymptomatic person can get tested for the virus and access other resources aimed at preventing its spread.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the city rose above 1,000 on May 26, according to Kansas City government data. New cases have remained fairly steady between 100 and 200 cases throughout all the weeks of May, with no significant increase or decrease.

There have been eight deaths from the coronavirus since May 15, when the restricted reopening went into effect. Four of those deaths happened that weekend.

Related: On Wednesday Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced her decision to scrap mandatory phases, turning her statewide reopening orders into suggested guidelines. 

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