April 15, 2020

Regional public health officers and directors in the nine-county Kansas City metropolitan area today issued a recommendation to extend local stay-at-home orders through May 15 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The recommendation is based on estimates of the anticipated peak of infection in the Kansas City metro at the end of April, the need to have infrastructure and staff in place to monitor new cases as they arise thereafter, and the importance of a joint policy to prevent increasing the spread the virus between different counties and municipalities in the metro.

“It’s important that we look at the data on the virus and react accordingly,” said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department. “We believe this timeline is what is best for the region to keep people safe.”

Coordinated regional efforts are under way to ease restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so. The peak infection date in the metropolitan area may vary from statewide peaks in Kansas and Missouri.

“It’s very important that residents continue to comply with the stay-at-home orders,” said Dr. Allen Greiner, chief medical officer for the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas. “We see that staying home is working and we hope to gradually ease restrictions as soon as it’s safe.”

“We recognize our metro residents are making tremendous sacrifices and are concerned about their jobs, their businesses and their families,” said Dr. Joseph LeMaster, public health officer for Johnson County, Kansas. “We are constantly looking at data to determine how we balance public health with economic concerns.”

Public health officials remind everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

· Stay home. The best way to prevent the illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus.

· If you must be out, stay six feet or more away from others and wear a fabric or paper mask

· Wash your hands often.

· Avoid touching your hands to your face.

· Cover coughs and sneezes.

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.