KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas extended the state of emergency in Kansas City through May 1. He said he hopes to be able to lift that earlier, but we’re not at that point yet.
One of the biggest changes, however, pertains to bars and restaurants, Lucas said Wednesday. A city order currently requires them to close at 10 p.m. Now, Lucas said they can stay open until midnight.
The change takes effect Thursday and puts Kansas City in line with other surrounding communities.
Wyandotte County made a similar move on Tuesday, and Jackson County followed suit Tuesday morning. Johnson County, Kansas, has had a midnight closing time for several months now.
“Nothing that we say today or do today suggests that we aren’t still in a moment of crisis,” Lucas said.
Restaurants and bars are required to continue following other mandates. Employees and customers must wear masks, except when eating or drinking. Social distancing inside businesses will also be required.
Lucas said the later closing time will be revisited in a month to make sure it’s not causing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
City leaders said one of the reasons this step is possible is because the positivity rate in January is half what it was in December.
“What that tells me is that our interventions have worked,” Lucas said. “Those interventions aren’t just curfews. Those interventions aren’t just mask requirements. Those interventions are also the fairly strict enforcement that we have done in Kansas City, Missouri.”
Kansas City leaders also shared more on its vaccination plan. The health department has received hundreds of vaccinations. The city plans to vaccinate minorities and utilize large venues as vaccination sites.