KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas has issued a new mask order Friday that aligns with Jackson County and Kansas City, Missouri,.
Under this new order, masks will still be required for most public indoor settings, but they will no longer be required outdoors. Social distancing requirements have also been dropped. Both outdoor masking and social distancing are still strongly recommended, however.
Wyandotte County health officials stressed that the county has not reached herd immunity when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination rates, and mask wearing, especially indoors, is still important in the fight against the virus.
The order has already gone into effect, as of 12:01 a.m. Friday and will remain until 11:59 p.m. May 28.
Masks are still required in Wyandotte County when you are in indoor public spaces around co-workers or the public or when performing an activity that involves close contact where six feet of distancing isn’t feasible.
People who are fully vaccinated in Wyandotte County can be unmasked indoors at gatherings if all people present are also fully vaccinated, according to the new health order.
The mask order does not include any Wyandotte County school districts; school boards will be able to determine their own mask rules going forward.
There are also exemptions for people participating in religious services or activities, but county health officials still strongly encourage mask wearing during these times.
Like past mask mandates, there are still exemptions for children under the age of 5, people with certain health conditions, and people communicating with someone who is deaf/hard of hearing.
Other metro counties
Johnson County in Kansas is now the first jurisdiction in the immediate Kansas City metro to drop its mask mandate, effective Saturday. The county’s mask mandate will turn into only a strong recommendation.
The new order urges Johnson County business operators to encourage their customers, employees and visitors to wear masks indoors and social distance. They are also allowed to require mask wearing.
Kansas City also dropped capacity restrictions on restaurants and bars, along with a requirement that patrons at these businesses have to sit down during their visit.
In the Northland, Clay County also got rid of its outdoor mask requirement. Social distancing is also not required, and there are no more occupancy limits.
Masks are still required indoors in Clay County, however.
Platte County also released a new health order this week, citing vaccination rates and the decrease in cases of COVID-19.
The county did away with restrictions on capacity and specific group sizes, but said people should continue to avoid large groups of people.
Masks are still required indoors across Platte County, unless eating or drinking or unless there’s room to socially distance.
The Platte County order set new guidelines for people who’ve been completely vaccinated, too.