- The Washington Times - Friday, August 14, 2020

Kansas City residents will be required to wear face masks indoors until at least mid-January to prevent the spread of the coronavirus or until a vaccine is made readily available, Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Thursday.

The mayor extended the city’s state of emergency order until Jan. 16, which requires people to wear a face covering in public indoor spaces when physical distancing cannot be achieved. Exceptions include children under 2 years of age and people with medical conditions.

“Until there’s a widely available vaccine, COVID-19 is here to stay — with serious potential health consequences for those infected,” Mr. Lucas said in a press release. “Mask-wearing, social distancing and basic hygiene continue to be the most effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and we appreciate all who take their personal responsibility to protect their family, friends and neighbors seriously.”

Bars and taverns will also continue to operate at 50% maximum capacity, and all places of business are still encouraged, but not required, to keep a log of customers’ names “for public health purposes.”

“It is now obvious to everyone that COVID-19 is not going away over the next five months,” Rex Archer, the city’s health department director, said in the release. “As we move out of summer and into fall and winter, we will still be confronting this health emergency. Our cases continue to rise, with a 115 percent increase in the 20-29 age group between June and July. We need every person, every business, every organization to commit to stopping transmission so our kids can get back to school and our businesses can thrive.”

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