KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Public Schools requires masks for all staff and students through the end of the year and said Tuesday afternoon it will continue to enforce the mandate.
The message comes after Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sent letters to school districts and health departments informing them that a court ruling determined mask mandates, quarantines and other public health orders are illegal. The letter also warned of possible lawsuits if the mandates continue to be enforced.
The school district said its Board of Directors and administration made decisions about guidelines and mandates after discussing them with local health departments. It said the Board of Directors continues to review guidance frequently and plans to continue following the current city mandate until it expires.
More specifically, many argue the Cole County judge’s ruling only makes public health orders “null and void” if they have not been approved by an elected body, like a city council or school board.
Last week the Kansas City Council voted to extend the mask mandate until Jan. 1. It requires masks be worn in school settings. Anyone who rides a school bus or other school transportation is also required to wear a mask under federal guidance.
Kansas City Public Schools’ COVID-19 dashboard shows it has a total of 58-positive COVID-19 cases across all of its buildings. A total of 235 employees and students are quarantined as of Dec. 6.
The district said the cases include several staff members who likely contracted the virus during the Thanksgiving break.
According to an email from the district, “the positive COVID-19 cases reinforces its continuance of the mask mandate in conjunction with other proven mitigation strategies.”