A stay-at-home order takes effect Tuesday across Jackson County as well as Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas, as a step to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The area’s “CORE 4” governments – Kansas City, Mo., Jackson County, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and Johnson County – made the decision Saturday.
It means people are to stay at home except for essential needs. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and lasts at least until April 22.
A CORE 4 statement said examples of businesses that can remain open are “critical government services, infrastructure projects, childcare, healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies and delivery/carry-out/drive-through services from restaurants.”
Officials said more details would be forthcoming at a news conference at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“I think the thing we’re trying to do is slow this thing down by not congregating together,” Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. said Saturday.
He said people can grill out and enjoy being in their yards, but stressed the need to stay six feet or more from other people. The county’s website also says going for a walk is OK, with social distancing.
The order comes on top of Jackson County rules already in place – and applied statewide Saturday Mike Parson – that ban gatherings of 10 or more people and that order restaurants and bars closed except for drive-through, take-out and delivery. Of course, officials continue to advise frequent and thorough hand-washing and other good hygiene.
Independence Eileen Weir said the new metro area order is a good move.
“I’m not opposed to the order to stay put. I think it’s overdue,” she said, but she added a concern that the coronavirus situation is straining local government services, and she said a lot of practical, day-to-day details affecting people’s lives still need to be worked out.
She said local governments will need state help. She said Saturday she’s reached out to Gov. Parson on that question but hasn’t gotten an answer.
“And that doesn’t mean,” she stressed, “that there isn’t one or that he doesn’t have one, or that the answer is no.”
Some of the cost to cities remains unclear, she said. For instance, what exactly are the police supposed to do starting Tuesday? She said that’s not clear yet – but she stressed that people so far have been done well in complying with the rules already in place.
“Our people have been great,” she said.