Mayor Lucas Issues Citywide “Stay at Home” Order, Extends School Closures
After 12 cases of the COVID-19 have occurred in Kansas City, Mayor Quinton Lucas – in consultation with Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney – today issued a “Stay at Home” Order, requiring Kansas Citians to stay at home except for “essential activities” as our community continues working to slow the spread of COVID-19. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, and healthcare facilities will remain open. (See the complete list of “Essential Businesses” below.) This order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24.
“I understand the financial and emotional toll this virus has taken on Kansas City families and businesses, and I am working my hardest to create every opportunity possible to ease some of this financial burden,” says Lucas. “We have suspended all water and electricity shut-offs and have issued a moratorium on evictions, but I know our work for those struggling most continues.”
Mayor Lucas will review the Order, and update as needed, prior to its April 24 expiration.
For purposes of this order, permissible “essential activities” will mean:
- To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family and close personal acquaintances, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home;
- To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or close personal acquaintances, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;
- To assist in the preparation of food and drink for delivery and carry out, or to pick up food or drink for carry out.
- To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, biking, hiking, or running;
- To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order; and
- To care for a family member, close personal acquaintance, or pet in another household;
“Essential activities” do not include weddings, funerals, wakes, memorial services, or similar gatherings.
“Essential Businesses” means any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless its corporate or entity structure and includes:
- Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;
- Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, markets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and persons;
iii. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;
- Human and animal food processing facility workers;
- Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;
- Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
vii. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;
viii. Banks and related financial institutions;
- Hardware stores;
- Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;
- Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;
xii. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions related to distance learning and provision of other services related student welfare, including but not limited to food provision and delivery, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;
xiii. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;
xiv. Railroads and rail systems;
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food and drink, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food or drink to be consumed at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;
xvi. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
xvii. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;
xviii. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;
xix. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order, as well as transportation maintenance services such as mechanics necessary to keep transportation services operational;
- Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
- xxi. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
xxii. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
xxiii. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities should operate under the following conditions:
- Childcare should be carried out in stable groups, preferably with 10 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day);
- Children should not change from one group to another;
- If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group should be in a separate room. Groups should not mix with each other; and
- Childcare providers should remain solely with one group of children.
- “Essential Infrastructure,” shall mean to include, but not be limited to, public works construction, construction of housing, airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, railroad and rail systems, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web- based services), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.
- “Healthcare Operations” shall include hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.
- “Minimum Basic Operations” includes the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:
- The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory and facilities, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions; and
- The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences, place of rest, or elsewhere.
“Social Distancing Requirements” includes maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.
- Regulated Activities. To the fullest extent allowed by law, the following restrictions are imposed:
- Individuals may leave their residence or place of rest only to undertake Essential Activities or to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of Essential Business, Essential Infrastructure, Healthcare Operations, Minimum Basic Operations, or other enumerated exempted categories as prescribed by City Order or other prevailing law.
- Individuals at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and those who are sick are urged to stay in their residence except as necessary to seek medical care.
- Exemptions. All first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, law enforcement personnel, and school personnel operating at the direction of administrator designation, and others working for or to support Essential Businesses are categorically exempt from this Order. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing “Essential Governmental Functions.” Essential Government Functions means all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of any government agencies, including schools, and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public. All Essential Governmental Functions should be performed in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.
Section Four. School Operations.
- For purposes of this section, “School Operations” means any institution of elementary or secondary education, including but not limited to public, chartered, private, or parochial institutions. School Operations does not include a requirement that school buildings be closed if needed to house individuals, distribute food or clothing, provide medical care or any other services deemed necessary to protect the life and property of Kansas Citians and other critical resources.
- That due to unique characteristics and risks associated with transmission dynamics, the likely spread of the disease based on factors of social distancing, the clinical severity of COVID-19, the lack of vaccine or antivirals as treatment options, the crowd density, the inability to ensure social distancing and to prevent close contact among groups, in- person classroom-based School Operations are prohibited from taking place in the City of Kansas City, Missouri, during the duration of the Proclamation and this Order, unless School Operations leadership can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director of Health that sufficient mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place.
- That the City Manager is directed, in concert with or acting through the Director of Health, to immediately make and adopt rules and regulations for the evaluation of and approval of sufficient mitigation plans for this infectious disease.
Section Five. Violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat, creates an immediate menace to public health, and shall be considered a violation of Section 50- 155 of the City’s Code of Ordinances.
An Update on School Closures:
With the support of superintendents from all 14 school districts and other education leaders that educate Kansas City students, Mayor Lucas has also updated his existing State of Emergency order to extend school closures in the Missouri-side of the metropolitan area through Friday, April 24. Daycares and early childhood programs remain exempt from this order.