November 12, 2020

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas today released the following statement after Missouri Governor Mike Parson and Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven announced updated state guidance as it relates to quarantine periods in K-12 schools:

“Based upon the advice of our Health Director and given the increasing uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in our community, we respectfully cannot recommend schools in Kansas City follow the updated non-quarantine guidance shared from Jefferson City today.

“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to slow the spread of this virus, and I hope the governor’s acknowledgment of their benefit will encourage more to wear them. Still, masks are not a substitute for proper quarantine measures in schools or elsewhere—particularly as we’ve seen a concerning spike in cases over the past several months.

“As we have since the onset of this virus, Kansas City appreciates the discretion Governor Parson has given us to set COVID-19 protections fit for our community and that exceed the state’s guidance. We will continue to take seriously the recommendations set forth by our nation’s leading scientific experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of today, CDC guidance regarding quarantine periods in schools has not changed, even when masks are present at the time of COVID-19 exposure. Kansas City will continue to follow that guidance.

“There remain many unknowns related to the spread of COVID-19. As the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence noted this morning, there are known cases of transmission in our state to students, teachers, and staff inside of school buildings. I know our teachers and administrators are working diligently to ensure asymptomatic students and staff do not spread this virus to their classmates or their families at home.

“I will continue working with our local, state, and federal health experts to best protect Kansas Citians, and I continue to encourage all to wear masks, wash their hands, avoid large gatherings, and, importantly, stay home when sick.”