Local officials, in an effort to combat a significant rise in virus cases and hospitalizations in the region, have begun instituting mask mandates and vaccination efforts. In Eastern Jackson County, the 14-day percent positive has tripled since June 6 and case counts have quadrupled.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced July 28th the City will reinstate its indoor mask mandate regardless of vaccination status, effective 12:01am on Monday, August 2nd.
Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who is running for the open U.S. Senate seat, was quick to announce he would sue to block the mandate. Schmitt filed a lawsuit Monday to block St. Louis area mask mandates.
Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. announced a new health care mandate that requires all full-time and part-time County staff to show proof of full vaccination or receive weekly COVID-19 testing. The new policy takes effect on September 30.
“The delta variant we’re fighting now is much more contagious and requires us to act with a sense of urgency,” White said.
“Science and facts show the vaccine is the absolute best way protect ourselves and others from serious illness or death. Our new policy will help us ensure staff and guests to our facilities remain safe, while also improving our chances of defeating this virus once and for all.”
Masks will continue to be a requirement in all county buildings and facilities for staff and visitors regardless of vaccination status.
The City of Grain Valley has not implemented its own mask mandate, but is watching for news from Jackson County, according to Deputy City Administrator Theresa Osenbaugh.
“As in the past, the City will watch closely for any health orders released by Jackson County as we fall under their jurisdiction. The City has not implemented our own mask or vaccine requirements. We have ensured all employees have been made aware of how they can obtain the vaccine but have not surveyed staff to identify who has been vaccinated,” Osenbaugh said.