Where are masks required around Kansas City?


With the lack of any leadership at the state or federal levels, local governments have been forced to fill the void with their own public health mandates, sometimes resulting in a confusing patchwork of recommendations and requirements. In the Kansas City metro area, it’s relatively simple, though. Although there are a few minor variations in some details, it can be summed up in three words: wear a mask.

Clay County has amended their public health emergency order. Most businesses, including stores and public transit, are allowed to operate at full capacity, but visitors and employees must wear masks during activities which “involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public.” Exceptions that apply are laid out in the order.

Jackson County began mandating masks on July 1. Face coverings must be worn at all times in public if a 6-foot distance from others cannot be assured. The order requires that face coverings must be worn at all times inside, and holds businesses liable for monitoring individuals inside the business. Further details as well as applicable exceptions are listed in their order.

Kansas City, MO, updated their public health order effective June 29 to require all employees or visitors to any place of public accommodation to wear face coverings whenever 6 feet of separation isn’t feasible. Occupancy restrictions have been removed for most businesses, although businesses classified as taverns are restricted to 50% occupancy. Like most orders, there are a number of exceptions, which are listed here.

North Kansas City’s order requires face coverings while inside any area of public accommodation, including stores, public transit, and special events. Masks are not required outdoors, but social distancing is recommended. The NKC order remains in effects until August 21, and also lists a number of exceptions that are in line with CDC guidelines.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a statewide mandate in late June, although counties were able to alter or even reject the requirements entirely. In the Kansas City area, both Johnson and Wyandotte counties voted to adopt the original order, which is in line with CDC guidelines. Masks are required for both employees and visitors in any public space, both indoors and outdoors. The relevant exceptions are outlined in the executive order.

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