KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County legislators won’t decide whether to end the county’s mask mandate, until next week. The decision came just three weeks after lawmakers voted to extend the mandate again.
Three legislators introduced the resolution to end the mandate immediately, saying the mask mandate was no longer needed because according to the county’s health department, the number of COVID-19 cases in the county dropped dramatically over the past month. The health department also reported that the positivity rate is under 8%, which is lower than its targeted positivity rate of 10%.
The resolution was assigned to the whole legislature to debate next week. The decision was made after hearing a presentation from the Jackson County Health Department that showed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as Jackson County, still considers the county to be in an area with high community transmission. Based on data, the state of Missouri considers the county to be in an area of substantial community transmission.
The decision whether or not to end the mask mandate only impacts areas of Jackson County, such as Lee’s Summit, Blue Springs, and other areas outside of the Kansas City, Missouri, city limits.
Members of Kansas City, Missouri’s city council voted earlier this month to extend its mask mandate until at least November. 4. As required by state law, Kansas City’s council will either need to allow the mandate in the city to expire, or vote again before Nov. 4 to extend the mask mandate again.
Independence is also in Jackson County, but it has its own health department. The city doesn’t have a mask mandate in place.