Rex Archer, M.D., director of Public Health in KCMO

Face masks no longer an option in KC public settings and transportation

Kansas City will require the use of masks or face coverings in public settings beginning Monday, Mayor Quinton Lucas announced at a news conference on Friday.

The move represents the next step in slowing the spread of COVID-19, as the five-county area sees its highest number of daily case increases – 227 – since the first were detected in March.

Effective Monday, June 29, all employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation must wear face coverings in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where six feet of separation is not feasible. Also effective Monday, percentage capacity limits as required by Mayor Lucas’ Eighth Amended Order will be eliminated, except for taverns and bars.

“Our country’s leading health and scientific experts have indicated in no uncertain terms that mask-weari­ng is the most effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the Mayor said Friday. “Case numbers in Kansas City continue to rise, and we are taking all steps we can to ensure public health and safety.

“I know wearing masks can be uncomfortable, but this is a necessary step to ensure we can save lives and keep our economy open. We wear masks to protect our loved ones, those around us, and their loved ones.”

The order will run for two weeks. Using CARES act funding, the city will provide masks at community centers and to other social service agencies to assist with distribution.

RideKC will be at highly used transit centers and bus stops this week, providing riders with thousands of free masks. Under the new order, face coverings will be required on RideKC buses and on KC Streetcar.

“We are keeping a close watch on our cases and hospitalizations, but know widespread mask-use is one essential way to slow COVID-19 and keep Kansas City businesses open,” said KC Department of Public Health Director Rex Archer, M.D.

“It’s up to us. Let’s learn from Texas and Florida and what’s happening there now. Their mitigations and closures weren’t as quickly adopted or embraced. Now their case counts are rising at a disturbing rate and they’ve had to slow their reopening plans.”

To learn more, click here to read the order and read the FAQ.

Evergy continues to accept applications for recovery funds

Evergy continues to accept applications for its Hometown Economic Recovery Program that will award grants totaling $800,000 to nonprofit agencies servicing clients within Evergy’s territory in two phases.

In May, Evergy committed $2.2 million toward helping agencies, communities and customers respond to and recover from the current pandemic. Details on the entire program are available at Evergy COVID Relief.

The first phase of applications is now open through Aug. 1. The second phase will open in August and close in October. Nonprofit agencies, classified as 501c3 or 501c6, are eligible and can visit Evergy Hometown Economic Recovery Program to review and apply.