KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The pandemic and COVID crisis is now officially over in both Kansas and Missouri. Both state’s governors have declared it an endemic starting April 1. But what does that mean?

At Up Down on Friday, things looked much like they did before the pandemic. Players didn’t seem too concerned with touching controls after someone else. At this point a year ago, the arcade bar gave away free tokens to people who were vaccinated, trying to get back to normal.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly said COVID-19 is now a “new normal,” like the flu. Mask mandates are a thing of the past, and Missouri’s leadership has pledged they’ll never come back. Both states have moved from pandemic response to endemic surveillance.

“People that want to gather like this and have a community, I think this is great that this is the endemic here,” Summer Boccabello said.

From the government’s point of view in both states that means COVID numbers will be released weekly instead of daily, vaccines and tests will only continue as long as federal resources persist and contact tracing will now only be encouraged for vulnerable populations.

Many also have thoughts on what endemic means for them.

“We’re finally over this whole deal with COVID, right? Which is phenomenal,” Samantha Rydgig surmised.

But doctors at the University of Kansas Health System said not so fast.

“I think the most important thing is to understand the virus is still out there. Yes, cases are going down, deaths are going down, but the virus is still circulating. You as an individual, family, community have to understand that and be thoughtful about those things you are doing,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson said.

Both states said they have the capability to ramp up response should there be another variant or surge.