KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the Kansas City area continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases with the rapid spread of the omicron variant, some counties and school districts are strongly looking at keeping or bringing back indoor mask mandates.
In the past week, Missouri has reported 46,654 new confirmed COVID-19 cases with 4,333 reinfections and 31 confirmed deaths from the virus, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
Since Wednesday, Kansas has had 16,341 new cases with 97 new hospitalizations and 37 new deaths from COVID-19, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The Kansas City, Missouri Council approved an ordinance Thursday requiring masks in school buildings. 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.
Jackson County, Missouri, does not currently have a mask mandate after it voted to immediately end its previous one on Nov. 12, 2021.
The Jackson County Legislature voted last month to bring back a mask mandate, but it failed 5-4.
Independence, which has it’s own health department and operates independently, also does not have a public mask mandate at this time.
However, some school districts in Jackson County do have mask rules in place.
The Lee’s Summit school board voted 6-1 to require masking in all district facilities starting Jan. 7 through Feb. 3. The board will revisit the decision at that time.
District Superintendent Dr. David Buck said Thursday they have seen about 300 positive COVID cases among students and staff within the first three days of school this January.
The Raytown school board voted Jan. 10 to require a face mask indoors for all students, staff and visitors beginning Jan. 11 and effective until Feb. 15, 2022.
Douglas County on Wednesday issued an emergency public health order, requiring face masks indoors once again after letting its previous order expire on Dec. 22, 2021.
The current order went into effect Friday, Jan. 7, and has been extended until Feb. 9, 2022.
In Johnson County, Kansas, there is no mask mandate for the public.
An indoor mask mandate was passed 8-0 on Jan. 12 by the Mission, Kansas City Council.
An indoor mask mandate passed in Roeland Park, Kansas 7-1 on Jan. 12.
Prairie Village voted 12-0 on Jan. 12 to bring back a mask mandate.
However, there is a mask rule for some school buildings. Commissioners approved an ordinance that requires masking for all students through 6th grade. The commission rejected a proposal to expand that mask mandate to all grades.
Commissioners will review data on COVID-19 infection rates and current vaccination numbers during the next regular meeting on Thursday, Feb. 17.
Johnson County schools are at liberty to continue current safety requirements or consider additional measures, which may include mandatory masking of older students.
Wyandotte County commissioners voted last month to end its current mask order which was originally set to expire Jan. 6, 2022. Doctors have warned that by dropping mask mandates, the community, and the country, will see another surge over the winter.
Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools continue to have a mask mandate and said the decision is consistent with the recommendations and processes the Wyandotte County Public Health Department, CDC and the Kansas State Department of Health and Environment implemented during the health pandemic.
The Turner School District in KCK previously had a mask mandate at the beginning of the school year but it ended on Dec. 17, 2021. It is still strongly recommended inside district buildings. Under federal law, masks continue to be required on school busses and other district transportations.
There is no public mask mandate in Platte County at this time.
The Park Hill school board voted 6-1 to implement a mask mandate beginning Jan. 9 and lasting until Feb. 3. They will revisit the issue on their board meeting on Jan. 27.
Platte County School District ended its previous mask mandate on Dec. 20, 2021. In the past week, the district has reported 55 new COVID cases among students and 18 among staff. The Platte County Board of Education is scheduled to meet again on Jan. 20.
Clay County currently doesn’t have a public mask mandate.
However, some cities within Clay County have made their own decisions. North Kansas City leaders approved a mask mandate just for school buildings. It’s set to expire on Feb. 5 unless the council takes further action.
In Cass County there is currently no public mask order.
In the Raymore-Peculiar School District, wearing face coverings in district facilities is recommended but not required.