Kansas City to use health inspectors, fire marshal to enforce COVID-19 restrictions

KMBZ News Staff
March 19, 2020 - 7:40 am
Kansas City City Hall

KMBC 9 News

Kansas City, MO -  Kansas City city officials aren't kidding around when it comes to enforcing social distancing as the world fights off the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Quinton Lucas ordered all restaurants to close their dining rooms to customers, mandated the shutdown of schools and banned all gatherings with more than 10 people.

City communications director Chris Hernandez told KMBZ that while you may not end up in handcuffs, you could still land yourself in hot water.

"We have the same tools of enforcement that we do for any other city regulation," Hernandez explained. "In this case, that would include health department inspectors as well as the fire marshal, and they inspect buildings all the time for things like this."

Hernandez said officials won't necessarily be splitting hairs over the regulations, but they're taking them seriously. 

"Quite frankly, the idea that we're going to count heads and have a party with nine people instead of 12 people is a little bit ridiculous," Hernandez said. "Because if one of those people is carrying the virus and didn't know it, you've now infected all these other people."

You could face a fine if you break the mayor's directives, but Hernandez said we should all be worried about even bigger repercussions, including younger people. 

"You're still likely get sick and get a really bad case of, what feels like, a really bad flu," Hernandez said. "But more importantly, do you really want to infect your grandparents? Have you visited grandma lately?"

Hernandez added that now is the time, more than ever, for Kansas Citians to band together. Just do it online, not in person. 

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