August 30, 2021

Today, a majority of the Jackson County Legislature voted to extend the County’s public health order requiring mask-wearing in indoor public places for those 5 and older. The health order remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, October 7.

The Jackson County Health Department supports extending the order, which aligns with current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The County currently meets the CDC’s definition of High Transmission designation. Before today’s extension, the health order was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, September 7.

“As elected officials, it is our job to make tough decisions regardless of how unpopular they are,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “Today, the Legislature faced that challenge and ultimately, based on the science and data presented to them, acted in the best interest of public safety, not politics. We will continue relying on our public health and medical professionals to guide us through this deadly pandemic since it began nearly 18 months ago. Wearing a mask indoors along with getting more people vaccinated will offer more protection to all of our residents, including children under 12 who are not able to get vaccinated. I commend my colleagues today for standing up for what’s right.”

Under the authority of the County Executive and Health Director, a public health order was issued earlier this month in response to the rising number of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations due, in part, to the highly-contagious Delta variant and our region’s low vaccination rates. Since then, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has issued a COVID-19 hotspot advisory for Jackson County and the Kansas City area. Additionally, a health department report to the County Legislature shows the following conditions in the metropolitan area:

  • As of August 25, 2021, the Kansas City Region reported 193,842 total cases, an increase from 179,575 total cases reported on August 6, 2021. On the same day, the Kansas City Region reported 2,608 total deaths from COVID-19, an increase from 2,457 total deaths from COVID-19 reported on August 6, 2021.
  • As of August 25, 2021, Eastern Jackson County reported 34,923 total cases and 431 total deaths from COVID-19, up from 31,892 total cases and 388 deaths from COVID-19 on August 6, 2021.
  • In Eastern Jackson County, the 7-day case rate per 100,000 persons was 306.06 per 100,000 on August 25, 2021. This remains three-times higher than the upper threshold of “High” classification defined by the CDC.
  • Of the total population in Eastern Jackson County, 42.6% of residents have completed their vaccination series as of August 25, 2021, an increase of 2.1% over August 6, 2021.
  • On August 25, 2021, the Jackson County Health Department received report of six hospitals in Jackson County reporting under 5% capacity to accept new patients.
  • Children’s Mercy Hospital, the region’s only children’s hospital, is reporting a general increase in patient volume driven by both a community outbreak of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection and increases in COVID-19 infections among youth.

The County continues to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. All available vaccine options, including the FDA fully-approved Pfizer vaccine, are safe, effective and free. Vaccine clinics can be found by visiting www.jacohd.org/events.

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