Kansas City mayor spot checks social distancing at bars

Associated Press
A woman watches as the full moon rises beyond downtown buildings Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS CITY — The mayor of Missouri's largest city has been getting plenty of messages about people not following social distancing guidelines at bars, so he decided to check for himself.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told the Kansas City Star that he spent two hours on Saturday night dropping by or looking into eight businesses in the city. His decision to spot check came after a video circulated online showing more than 100 people — most without masks — at an event in the Power & Light District.

The Democratic mayor publicized his personal cellphone number and he's received several messages about people ignoring guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. He decided to check out establishments in various neighborhoods of the city: Midtown-Westport, Country Club Plaza and the 18th and Vine Jazz District, where he lives.

Across Missouri, the number of new confirmed cases spiked by 1,148 on Monday, and 26 new deaths were reported. All told, Missouri has seen 68,623 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 1,393 deaths, since the pandemic began.

To try and slow the spread, an emergency order in Kansas City requires masks in all indoor public spaces where people can't be six feet apart, and the order extends additional restrictions on bars and restaurants.

Lucas told the Star that most businesses were trying to follow public health guidance. He found "one bad actor," another that did an "outstanding" job following protocols, and most somewhere in the middle.

"There was one establishment I went to that appeared to be following absolutely no protections in the slightest," said Lucas, who did not name the business.

He said he might revisit the idea of imposing an outdoor mask order to curb the spread of the virus among large outdoor crowds.


The University of Missouri on Monday announced a new policy requiring students, faculty and staff to notify the university if they test positive for the new coronavirus.

Any student who has COVID-19 must notify the MU Student Health Center within four hours of receiving the results, according to an email from university leaders. The student will be required to provide information on their whereabouts and activities for the period starting two days before their test.

The information on individuals' positive tests will be kept confidential, but the information will be used to help determine where surfaces need extra cleaning, to arrange remote work and for contact tracing.

University of Missouri System President Mun Choi and Provost Latha Ramchand said in the email that they believe the new measures "contribute to the health of our university community."