With dozens of complaints a day, KC’s mask mandate has been tough for officials to enforce

Coronavirus in Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — The Kansas City Health Department says Mayor Quinton Lucas’ ninth amended order has been the hardest to enforce.

Everyone who steps inside Troost 39 Thrift Store is required to wear a face covering. It’s been this way since the store reopened more than a month ago.

“We wanted to set a tone. We made the assumption that people would want to cooperate if they just knew how to cooperate,” Troost 39 co-owner Chuck Wurth said. 

Wearing a mask inside a public building is now a requirement in Kansas City — but not all businesses have been following the rules.

Naser Jouhari with the Kansas City Health Department said the city receives about 50-60 complaints per day in regard to the mayor’s COVID orders. He said it’s an increase that can be attributed to the new face mask order.

“We’ve heard all kinds of excuses. Mainly, it’s my right not to wear a mask. Mainly, they’re using their constitutional rights. You cannot force me to do something I am not comfortable,” Jouhari said. 

After receiving a complaint, the health department takes action. First, they’ll make a call. If a business isn’t complying, the health department delivers a letter to the owner in person.

If that doesn’t work, the department can suspend permits and licenses. The health department said that’s only happened to one business so far. 

“Again 90%, 99% of the time at this point, we get full compliance,” Jouhari said.

At Troost 39 Thrift Store, its owners say getting their customers to follow orders has been smooth sailing. 

“I can count on one hand, maybe at most five people out of this entire five weeks have said, ‘Nope I’m not going to do it.’ They quietly walk out, and that’s it,” Wurth said.

Masks are required in public places in Kansas City until at least July 12. Several surrounding cities and counties have taken similar action. 

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