KANSAS CITY METRO — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the U.S., several governments at both the state and local levels have extended stay-at-home orders past their original ending dates.
Regional public health officers and directors in the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area have recommended extending the orders until May 15. Several municipalities have followed these suggestions while others have chosen to remain under statewide action.
Keeping track of the orders can get confusing. State orders provide a blanket of rules, while more local orders have the ability to tighten restrictions further. Here’s what we know.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has announced he will extend the statewide stay-at-home order through Sunday, May 3. The order was set to expire on Friday, April 24. Parson first announced the order on April 3, and it took effect on April 6.
“The best thing that we can do is reopen this state for everyone and be smart about it,” Parson said.
Gov. Laura Kelly has extended the statewide stay-at-home order to May 1. She originally announced on Wednesday, April 15 that the statewide stay-at-home order will remain in effect until midnight on May 3. However, she amended the date when she became aware that her extended power ended on May 1 with the state of emergency.
The original stay-at-home order had been set to expire on April 19. Internal projections show the number of cases will peak in late April.
Kansas City, Mo.
On Thursday, April 16, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced he is extending the stay-at-home order until Friday, May 15. The city’s current stay-at-home order was set to expire on April 24, but it will now continue for another three weeks to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“Our area health directors had said that [the extension] was important for us,” Lucas said. “They noted that this is based on medical advice. They want to make sure that we’re to a point where we can do adequate tracing throughout our community.”
Jackson County, Mo.
Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. announced the county would extend the stay-at-home order through May 15. The county’s previous stay-at-home order was set to expire on April 24. The City of Independence mimicked the order.
“I would first like to say thank you to our citizens and those working in Independence, it is because of your efforts that we are keeping the curve in our area below critical levels meaning at this time we do not see a lack of hospital beds in our area however we must remain diligent,” Independence Mayor Eileen Weir said.
Clay County, Mo.
UPDATE: County officials announced on April 22 that their stay-at-home order will be shorter than expected, ending on May 3 along with the state of Missouri. Originally, the county extended their order until May 15, 2020.
The change comes after county officials stated current social distancing measures have “demonstrated having a measurable impact on reducing the number of cases of COVID-19 in Clay County’s jurisdiction.”
Platte County, Mo.
Platte County officials announced Friday their orders will continue until May 15, 2020 as well. Platte County Health Director Mary Jo Vernon said they are trying to avoid another uptick in cases.
“If we open up the county too soon, it has been proven that a second wave of the virus can occur, which would require the restrictions to be put back in place for a longer period,” she said.