Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday brought back its indoor mask mandate following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) controversial guidance, urging vaccinated individuals to mask up.
Mayor Quinton Lucas, a Democrat, announced the order last week, which went into effect 12:01 a.m. Monday, August 2. It is expected to last through “at least” Saturday, August 28. It applies to everyone over the age of five “regardless of vaccination status.”
“Since COVID-19 first entered our community, Kansas City has followed the guidance issued by our nation’s leading scientific experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and locally by our own Health Department and regional health care leaders,” Lucas said in a statement, lamenting the full vaccination rate “of just 39 percent in Kansas City.”
“Kansas Citians will need to begin masking in all indoor public places on Monday to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and throughout Missouri,” he said, touting vaccines as the “most effective way to rid COVID-19″ from the community.” The Democrat mayor did not mention the prevalence of breakthrough cases across the country in his statement.
“I applaud all who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine, and who have shared the importance of the vaccine with their friends and family—please keep talking with those close to you about how the vaccine is the best way to protect themselves and those around them and our community,” he continued.
“I thank all Kansas Citians, our businesses, and our schools for understanding the reinstatement of the mask requirement is a necessary and immediate step we must take to protect our community,” Lucas added.
Over the weekend, the mayor said he received a letter from an “upcoming conference” which reportedly informed him it is reconsidering coming to Kansas City due to the city’s “current COVID crisis.”
“To help our convention sector and our economy, let’s make sure we get vaxxed and bring down our infection numbers,” he added:
Saying *they are. Sorry about the typo.
— Mayor Q (@QuintonLucasKC) July 31, 2021
Meanwhile, the Health Department is urging children 12 and older to get vaccinated.
“Most kids under 12 don’t know the word ‘exponential’, but that’s what’s happening with COVID cases in their age group.
It’s up to us grown-ups,” the department said, pitching vaccinations as “the best way to resume normal life & get them back in school”:
Most kids under 12 don't know the word 'exponential', but that's what's happening with COVID cases in their age group.
It's up to us grown-ups. Vaccinations are the best way to resume normal life & get them back in school. Health Dept vaccines: MTF 8:30-4:00 T/TH 8:30-7:00 pic.twitter.com/EhWV6TvGEn
— KCMO Health Dept (@KCMOHealthDept) July 31, 2021
Government officials have yet to explain how their latest guidance, requiring vaccinated individuals to mask up, does not undermine their messaging that vaccines are the way to return to pre-pandemic normalcy.