Mayor Lucas announces updated Kansas City COVID-19 guidelines

Screen Shot 2021 02 19 At 124303 Pm

Screengrab from Mayor Lucas’ press conference announcing new COVID-19 guidelines

Updated COVID-19 guidelines, including no upper limit on gathering size, will be effective February 19 at 10 p.m.

“I thank Kansas Citians and local businesses for their cooperation and for doing their part to slow the spread of COVID-19 over the past several months during a period where our region, much like the country, experienced a significant uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths,” says Mayor Lucas.

With the goal to mitigate the spread, COVID-19 cases have had a steady drop over the past six weeks. Last week there were a total of 232 new cases compared to 1,800 cases the first week of January.

Lucas says the Kansas City government’s goal is to focus on economic recovery and getting Kansas Citians vaccinated while continuing to lower new case numbers.

New COVID-19 guidelines were announced in January but some of those regulations are being relaxed as of today. January guidelines included 50 percent capacity at restaurants, bars, and taverns as well as indoor events being limited to 10 people. This is no longer the case.

Updated guidelines are as follows:

  • Restaurants, bars, and taverns may resume operating according to their permitted hours and no longer need to close in-person services at midnight. These establishments must follow social distancing requirements between separate parties and tables, from back of chair to back of chair.
  • All attendees and staff at events must follow masking and social distancing guidelines. While events are no longer required to submit a mitigation plan, the Kansas City Health Department will be available for consultation to ensure safety at these events.
  • Provided all attendees follow masking and social distancing guidelines, there is no upper limit on gathering size.

Guidelines that remain unchanged: 

  • Masks must be worn in all indoor spaces with more than one person per room and all outdoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Restaurants, bars, taverns, and events must follow social distancing requirements between separate parties and tables, from back of chair to back of chair.
  • Indoor and outdoor patrons at facilities where food or drink is served for on-site consumption (including event spaces) must be seated and masked at all times, except when actively eating or drinking.
  • Business and event operators must immediately report any known COVID-19 cases among staff or patrons to the Kansas City Health Department.

These guidelines were in consultation with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer, M.D., and Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Erica Carney, M.D.

“City enforcement agencies will focus on holding accountable establishments and events that encourage or allow reckless behavior that threaten the health and safety of attendees,” says Lucas.

The Kansas City government can fine, suspend, or shutter businesses found to be violating these regulations. Violations of these guidelines can be sent to

A full list of FAQs can be found here.

Categories: Politics