Venues weigh options as Kansas City ends outdoor mask mandate Friday

Tracking Coronavirus

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Monday, Kansas City enacted what the Mayor Quinton Lucas hopes is one last health order to help control the spread of COVID-19. 

There are no longer any social distancing requirements for businesses, and no more limits on crowds. Masks are no longer required outside.

The Kansas City Zoo sold out Monday with capacity guidelines still in place. The zoo requires guests to wear masks inside and outdoors at busy exhibits, bridges or places where social distancing can’t be maintained.

“It is warm it is hot, it is not the most comfortable to keep it on all day. But if that’s what we need to do I’m happy to do that,” Sable Hanson said. 

But Hanson said she notice not everyone was so happy with the continued COVID-19 restrictions, like one guest on the tram. 

“He didn’t want to wear his mask and she (the driver) was insistent that he did and that seemed to rub him the wrong way,” she described an argument over the mask policy at the zoo Monday.

Starting Friday, masks no longer will be required outdoors anywhere under new Kansas City Health Department guidelines.

The Zoo plans to meet Tuesday to decide whether to ease its restrictions to match. 

Of course the order doesn’t bar anyone from continuing to wear masks if they want. 

“It’s personal preference whatever people want to do whatever they feel comfortable with I guess will be fine,” Mitch Smitley, a zoo guest, said.

Rachel Bliss, Communication Manager for Starlight Theater, said, “at this time, Starlight is evaluating how the announcement today by the City of Kansas City will impact our May events. We will continue to follow the guidelines set forth by federal, state and local officials in regards to keeping our patrons safe. Check kcstarlight.com/staysafe for the most up-to-date information on attending events at Starlight.”

That section of its website currently says masks will be required through early Summer and capacity will be reduced throughout May. More available seats, could certainly impact crowd size. But venues will also have to consider how masks not being required will affect ticket sales?

“I don’t know anybody that has been refusing to come because of the mask mandate will suddenly come. I don’t know if there’s a huge population in the Kansas City area that are that concerned about it or not,” Elizabeth Owen said.

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