Mallory Herrmann
Staff Reporter

The City of Lee’s Summit has approved a resolution expressing its opposition to the Jackson County Health Department’s mask mandate. The resolution urges a repeal of the county mandate, though the statement will have no practical impact on the residents of Lee’s Summit.

The mask mandate currently requires all persons ages five and older, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in indoor public places. The Jackson County Legislature voted on November 1 to extend the mandate through November 22.

After Kansas City, Mo., decided to end the mask mandate within their own city limits (except in school buildings and on school buses), Mayor Bill Baird wanted to bring the topic to the Lee’s Summit city council for discussion.

Because Lee’s Summit doesn’t have its own health department, it is subject to regulations set forth by the county’s health department. The council hopes, however, that the Jackson County Health Department will take this opposition into account when considering an end to the mandate.

The Jackson County Legislature is expected to revisit the issue at their November 12 meeting. A resolution sponsored by Daniel Tarwater III, Theresa Galvin and Jeanie Lauer proposes an immediate termination of the mask mandate.

“We appreciate what has come before, but it’s time to move forward,” said Councilmember Hillary Shields, noting that the county is hitting the necessary benchmarks in case numbers and vaccination rates. She went on to “strongly encourage” residents to get vaccinated if they haven’t been already.

The proposed resolution specifically suggested “the adoption of a mask mandate similar to that in place within the corporate limits of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.” The council voted unanimously to amend the resolution to simply urge the health department to repeal the mandate rather than replace it with one similar to Kansas City’s.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the amended resolution. All councilmembers were present at the Nov. 9 meeting.

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