Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced Thursday morning that the city is under a state of emergency for at least 21 days.
“Protecting all of our residents remains our top priority, which means that how we interact over the weeks and months ahead will need to change dramatically as we confront our current public health challenge,” said Lucas.
The novel coronavirus or COVID-19 reached the frontlines of the Kansas City area last Saturday when a Johnson County woman tested positive for the virus.
The metro area has since experienced its first death related to COVID-19. A Wyandotte County man in his 70s died Wednesday, testing positive for the virus post-mortem.
Since the city’s announcement of a state of emergency, all events with over 1,000 people in Kansas City are canceled.
The University of Missouri System announced Friday that it has suspended in-person classes for the rest of the spring 2020 semester. All classes will be taught remotely.
UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal stated in a news release the school is working to make the transition as seamless as possible
“Our goal remains to ensure that we continue our teaching and research even as we put in safeguards to protect our faculty, staff, students and visitors,” said Agrawal. “That said, this ever-changing situation will require ongoing planning and vigilance in coming weeks.”
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced a state of emergency after she confirmed Kansas’ first coronavirus death. Governor Mike Parson declared a state of emergency for Missouri this Friday. Both declarations will allow additional state resources and personnel to help with the response to the virus.
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency yesterday, giving access to additional funding. He said $50 billion will be dedicated to fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As of today, there have been eight confirmed cases and one death in Kansas. In Missouri, there have been four confirmed cases, all outside of the Kansas City area.