KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Business owners across the metro told FOX4 on Monday that they are elated over the relaxed COVID-19 guidelines in Kansas City. Small business owner Katie Mabry van Dieren says this feels like a reward for months of working to stop the spread.
“I am just happy about it. It does feel good that people are getting vaccinated and that our cases are going down, so I just don’t want that to change so hopefully it stays the same,” she said.
Mayor Quinton Lucas said although this year has been tough for businesses, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I am proud of Kansas City’s businesses. They in particular weathered a very challenging year, and hopefully this is a moment of relief for them,” he said during a Monday news conference.
Katie’s company, The Strawberry Swing, hosts an annual Christmas fair that welcomes more than 20,000. Last year due to the pandemic, that number was cut substantially.
However, now that capacity limits are no more, they can return to form.
“Hopefully we can have as many people as we want to come to the holiday event, especially if it’s outdoor,” van Dieren said.
Area doctors say they would like to see capacity and distancing guidelines stay, but they understand there are mitigating circumstance that made these changes necessary.
“And that is the optimal medical and public health guidance and what we know protects people. And then there’s a collision course of what people will actually do and stand for now,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at The University of Kansas Health System, said.
Although some of the previous guidelines have been rescinded, Mayor Lucas says this health order is the floor and it is incumbent upon each individual and business to enact guidelines to maximize safety.