KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas says Kansas City will rescind its emergency order on masks after new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lucas said, effective Friday at noon, Kansas City will no longer require face masks indoors.
The city had already gotten rid of its last order requiring social distancing and masks outdoors last month. At that time, Kansas City also made an exception that fully vaccinated people didn’t have to wear masks indoors with others who are vaccinated.
Thursday’s news comes after the CDC announced that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks outdoors and in most indoor settings, with exceptions for public transportation and health care settings.
In a statement, Lucas said the CDC’s decision for vaccinated people is welcome news, it also creates confusion with Kansas City’s order. The mayor said many businesses have been “subject to harassment” as they try to uphold mask requirements and other safety precautions, and asking them to continue doing so becomes more complicated under the new guidance.
Read Lucas’ full statement on the city’s decision below:
“Kansas City’s most recent order allowed all to go maskless outdoors and permitted vaccinated persons to go maskless indoors with others who are vaccinated. As a matter of compliance, that allowed the Kansas City Health Department to check with retailers, employers, and more to ensure they were encouraging their staff to initiate the COVID-19 vaccine process.
“While welcome, today’s CDC guidance creates confusion with Kansas City’s order. Throughout the pandemic we have endeavored to ensure clarity and effective public health guidance for Kansas Citians and, importantly, our businesses. Staff at many establishments have been subject to harassment based on upholding our orders and we will not force them to do so further where our regulators cannot reasonably tell between those vaccinated or not at an establishment, and where our guidance may conflict with the CDC. We have followed CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so today.
“I cannot in good faith impose an order, replete with penalties for non-compliance, that is impossible for our businesses to follow. Accordingly, effective tomorrow at noon, Kansas City will rescind its Fourteenth Emergency Order. We will shift, as is necessary, to ensuring those needing access to the vaccine take it, and that we look out for the continued health and safety of our neighbors.
“We thank the many individuals and businesses in Kansas City who have worked hard to keep us all safe over the past fourteen months. We saved lives looking out for each other and all in Kansas City should be proud of the steps we have taken to protect our community’s health.”