Nonessential businesses in Kansas City to open as early as May 6, but with some caveats
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced the city’s new 10-10-10 Rule for Reopening KCMO in a noon press conference, April 29.
In what Lucas described as a “responsible acceleration,” the new guidelines will allow for businesses that have previously been designated as nonessential to open as early as May 6 — with a few caveats.
These businesses will be subject to a 10 percent occupancy or a 10 person limit depending on the size and nature of the property. Individuals who remain in the property for longer than ten minutes will be required to sign in.
Under these same rules, employees who don’t feel comfortable returning to work won’t be required to do so until May 15. Masks will be required for all workers, while patrons are strongly urged to also utilize them whenever possible.
“The first thing that I want to emphasize is that here in Kansas City, Missouri, we will always base our decisions on public health advice, recommendations and frankly doing the research that is necessary before we choose to act,” Lucas said.
The mayor went on to point to some local trends that show signs of the coronavirus spread slowing regionally. For the week of April 6, there were 146 new infections in the city. This fell in the following weeks to 101 the week of April 13 and to 74 the week of April 20. At our current midway mark of 36 new infections this week, Lucas said projections show us hitting about 74 again.
“What we see is there is a decline in that infection rate. That is the result of the important steps that the people of Kansas City have taken in connection with the stay at home orders. It isn’t because of some randomness, it isn’t because we’re special, it isn’t about anything other than the fact that all of the steps we’ve taken over the last six weeks,” Lucas said. “Kansas City is to be commended on that.”
Lucas gave the example of barbershops as one kind of small business that will be allowed to operate starting May 6. They will be subject to the same capacity occupancies and regulated by appointment, per the usual. This will make the virus easier to trace, if there were to later be an outbreak stemming from that location.
“We continue to look at hospitalizations, testing, tracing and tracking,” Lucas said. “Our goal is to provide fair guidance. We still encourage everyone to stay home as much as possible. We still encourage everyone who can stay home and telecommute, to do so,” Lucas said.
Lucas also addressed some of the businesses that may still have to wait until May 15 to open a full or semi-full capacity, such as restaurants, bars, gyms and museums.
“For those businesses, places where lots of folks come in and out, we are going to work in the next two weeks to make sure we have specific guidelines for them as they begin to open back up,” Lucas said.
Lucas also noted that 500 test results will be sent to city hall by Wednesday. He said that data from these tests will have an influence on how the city makes COVID-19 related decisions in the coming weeks.