The Unified County Government of Wyandotte / Kansas City, Kansas has passed a new COVID-19 health ordinance that removes requirements for wearing masks outdoors, while letting the public wear masks indoors in the city. most of the cases.
Employees and visitors to indoor public accommodation facilities aged 5 years or older should continue to wear masks. In bars or restaurants, masks can come off when visitors eat or drink.
Masks are not required when everyone in an indoor location is vaccinated.
There is no social distancing requirement on the outside.
The United Government’s latest ordinance bears a strong resemblance to those approved this week by the counties of Kansas City, Missouri and Jackson, Clay and Platte.
It doesn’t go as far as what the Johnson County Commissioners Council decided on Thursday. This action canceled all mask-wearing and social distancing warrants. Johnson County is now just making recommendations.
“We currently believe that this is not an appropriate step to take to completely remove health ordinances, ”said Juliann Van Liew, Director of the United Government’s Department of Public Health. “And that’s because wearing the mask indoors remains crucial.”
Misty Brown, a United Government lawyer, clarified that the inner mask requirement applies to public accommodation.
“I think technically, if it was a private place and not open to the public, I think technically they would fall outside the scope of this ordinance, “Brown said at a meeting of the Commission. of unified government.
The ordinance also applies to Edwardsville and Bonner Springs, smaller towns in Wyandotte County.
Commissioners on Thursday urged residents to get vaccinated.
“That’s my challenge, Wyandotte County: drop your duffs and take your picture, okay? District 8 Commissioner Jane Philbrook said.
In Wyandotte County, where they see about 15 new cases of coronavirus every day, about 28% of its residents have received at least their first dose of the vaccine. One in five has completed the vaccination.
Health officials have expressed concern over the sharp drop in demand for vaccines. At the end of March, the county was administering some 5,500 shots per week. Now the rate is around 1,500.
“We’re a little worried that we won’t have the demand that we had for a while,” said Allen Greiner, United Government physician.
Minimum collective immunity – the point at which enough people are immune to COVID-19 for continued spread to become unlikely – is considered 70%. Greiner said that at the current vaccination rate, it won’t be until early next year that Wyandotte County will achieve herd immunity.
“It’s been a long time,” Greiner said. “We would like this to happen much faster.”
Anyone 16 years of age or older is eligible to get the vaccine in Wyandotte County.
“We continue to meet people in our community who just don’t yet know that they and their family members are eligible, ”said Van Liew.
Wyandotte County in particular is trying to increase vaccination rates among men, blacks and young adults, all of whom have lower rates than other groups.
The county is preparing to launch mobile vaccination teams that will administer vaccines against businesses, organizations or those who cannot easily leave their homes.
“We have to come to where the people are,” Van Liew said. “We have to come where they feel safe.”
More information on mobile vaccinations can be found at wycovaccines.org.
Wyandotte County still maintains three mass vaccination sites. From May 10, the opening days will change:
▪ The Armory, 100 S. 20th St., Wednesday to Saturday
▪ Old K-Mart Building, 7836 State Avenue, Monday through Friday
▪ Former Best Buy building, 10500 Parallel Parkway, Monday and Tuesday