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Kansas City mayor spot checks social distancing at bars

The mayor of Missouri’s largest city has been getting plenty of messages about people not following social distancing guidelines at bars, so he decided to check for himself.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas told the Kansas City Star that on Saturday night, he spent two hours dropping by or looking into eight businesses in the city. His decision to spot check came after a video circulated online showing more than 100 people — most without masks — at an event in the Power & Light District.

The Democratic mayor publicized his personal cellphone number and he’s received several messages about people ignoring guidelines aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus. He decided to check out establishments in various neighborhoods of the city: Midtown-Westport, Country Club Plaza and the 18th and Vine Jazz District, where he lives.

Across Missouri, the state health department has reported 67,475 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,367 deaths since the pandemic began. To try and slow the spread, an emergency order in Kansas City requires masks in all indoor public spaces where people can’t be six feet apart, and the order extends additional restrictions on bars and restaurants.

Lucas told the Star that most businesses were trying to follow public health guidance. He found “one bad actor,” another that did an “outstanding” job following protocols, and most somewhere in the middle.

“There was one establishment I went to that appeared to be following absolutely no protections in the slightest,” said Lucas, who did not name the business.

He said he might revisit the idea of imposing an outdoor mask order to curb the spread of the virus among large outdoor crowds.

COVID-19 kits

Students arriving at the University of Missouri campus in Columbia will each get a free package of items to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The Columbia Missourian reported that volunteers put together 50,000 kits for students, faculty and staff.

Volunteers worked to make 50,000 renewal kits for students, faculty and staff.

“Just some things to get the campus used to and comfortable with using these items and creating a culture of mask wearing,” said Dale Sanders, director of MU stores.

Each kit includes two masks, hand sanitizer, wipes and literature about COVID-19.

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