KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Wednesday he's reinstating an indoor mask mandate beginning Monday.
Lucas cited guidance issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that was issued on Tuesday in his decision.
The mandate applies to anyone ages five and older regardless of their vaccination status.
The mandate will last through at least Saturday, Aug. 28.
“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 press release. “With a 15 percent increase in hospitalizations over the past week and a full vaccination rate of just 39 percent in Kansas City, the CDC and our own Health Department have issued recommendations that all persons—regardless of vaccination status—begin masking in all places of indoor public accommodation. As such, 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.”
In a press conference Wednesday, Lucas said the mandate applies to places of public accommodation, which include grocery stores and other public places.
The mandate will be enforced by the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department as with previous ones.
Lucas said capacity limits weren't considered in the new order because the CDC had yet to recommend any.
"We're not trying to have more mandates or every mandate known to man," Lucas said. "What we're trying to do is responsibly address the crisis that we have at issue. Missouri is a hot spot for COVID-19 infections."
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II applauded the move, saying following the CDC recommendation will save lives.
The Delta variant is surging in Missouri. Following the CDC’s mask recommendation will save lives, protect our communities, & help the economic recovery.
— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) July 28, 2021
Just hours before Lucas announced the mandate, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said he intended to file a lawsuit against KCMO challenging it.
Lucas challenged the suit, saying, "It's the biggest load of malarkey I think I've ever seen, when the attorney general, who is a lawyer, to actually tweet about a filing a lawsuit about something that hasn't even been filed yet.
Lucas also said he'd send Schmitt a draft of the latest update in hopes he can provide input on it.
On Wednesday morning, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said any mask mandate or recommendation will harm the state's efforts to vaccinate people and only raises skepticism for the vaccine.