FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2021
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. – in consultation with Jackson County Health Department Director Bridgette Shaffer, MPH and Emergency Management Coordinator Troy Schulte – is announcing the expiration of the county health order. The order, which requires masks in indoor businesses and places of public accommodation, expired upon its signature this afternoon.
The announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s revision to its guidance for fully vaccinated individuals. The new guidance states that individuals who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 can resume activities — both indoor or outdoor, large or small — without wearing a mask or social distancing. Exceptions to this new guidance include health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters and public transportation.
According to CDC, individuals are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine
“As I have said from the very beginning of this pandemic, Jackson County’s decisions will be led by science. In light of the most current information available, and in light of the CDC’s recommendations, we are rescinding our current health order today,” said Jackson County Executive Frank White, Jr. “While this is welcome news for many, we cannot forget that this virus is still present and poses a risk to our residents, especially those who are not fully vaccinated. People are still contracting COVID-19 and dying from it. We need everyone to take personal responsibility and get vaccinated so we can truly put this devastating virus behind us.”
“The science is clear – these vaccines are extremely effective in limiting community transmission and protecting the most vulnerable among us,” said Jackson County Health Department Director Bridgette Shaffer, MPH. “We encourage everyone age 12 and older to take advantage of this important tool to help us end the pandemic.”
Although the expiration of the order means that wearing masks indoors will no longer be mandated across the county, masks remain strongly recommended for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
Businesses and other spaces continue to have the right to set their own mask requirements for entry. Jackson County Government and the Jackson County Health Department fully support the efforts of employers and organizations to protect their workers and customers when vaccination status cannot be determined. Masks will still be required in county buildings and facilities for staff and visitors until further notice.
While mask restrictions have lifted, other COVID-19 preventative measures remain in effect. Those who are not fully vaccinated and are identified as a contact of a positive case will still be required to quarantine for a 14-day-period, per the CDC’s guidance. Those who are fully vaccinated or have had COVID-19 within the past three months will be able to avoid quarantining after exposure to COVID-19 as long as symptoms do not develop. A copy of the expired order is attached(PDF, 420KB).