Kansas City health leaders expected to ask people to wear face coverings again

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Public health officials say new recommendations are expected to be released Monday encouraging people to put their masks back on.

The health department says there have been more than 800 new COVID-19 cases in Kansas City since July 1.
That’s more than the city recorded in the entire month of June.

The Kansas City council Thursday passed a resolution pushing the health department to be more aggressive in responding to the Delta variant surge with more vaccination opportunities, like one being staged at Smith-Hale Middle School in the Hickman Mills school district on Saturday.

And although no one wants to require mask mandates anytime soon, regional public health officials on Monday are expected to make new recommendations to resume mask wearing in public.

“There are a lot of people who are going to be resistant to wearing their masks again in public,” Frank Thompson, deputy director of Kansas City’s public health department, said. “But I would just share this: Right now our hospitals are seeing a surge in terms of cases and the capacity in our ICU units is being challenged.”

Thompson says 99 percent of the people in intensive care units with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Kansas City is focusing its prevention efforts on the Troost – Prospect corridor where vaccination rates remain low, comparable if not worse than hotspots like Springfield, Missouri.
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The walk-in clinic at the school Saturday will have all three vaccines available at no cost.
Other childhood immunizations also will be given.

Parents should bring their kids’ immunizations records.

The health department says children will be sent home from school unless they are up-to-date on their other required vaccinations.

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