Jackson County to require face masks

The Examiner staff
A man wearing a face mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus watches the sunset from a park in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, June 26, 2020. Sunsets and sunrises are more vibrant than usual lately due to dust in the atmosphere from a Saharan dust cloud.

Jackson County will echo Kansas City and require – starting Wednesday – that people in public buildings and in public outdoor settings wear a facemask or face covering.

The Jackson County Health Department, which covers the county outside of Kansas City, announced the mandate Monday in response to a continued increase of COVID-19 cases in the county and surrounding metro area. Kansas City’s mask mandate, set to run two weeks, went into effect Monday. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, has a face-mask requirement going into effect Tuesday.

“Research shows that wearing a face mask is the most effective and least costly strategy to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the metro area regional health directors, including Bridgette Shaffer from Jackson County, said in a joint statement Friday. “We strongly urge residents to wear a mask in all public settings. When combined with other precautions, this small step can help keep our communities safe and our businesses open.”

As of noon Monday, the Jackson County Health Department had not released specifics about its mask mandate. However, the CDC recommends that children less than 2 years old not wear masks, along with those who have trouble breathing or would not be able to remove their mask without assistance.

Kansas City’s mask mandate goes for people “in an area or while performing an activity which will necessarily involve close contact or proximity to co-workers or the public where 6 feet of separation is not feasible.

“Wearing a face covering helps protect you and others,” Dr. Michael Moncure with Truman Medical Centers said in a release. “We recommend keeping the mask on your face for the entire time you’re in public. This small action has an impact on the safety of our loved ones and community.”