City of Independence, Missouri

Jackson County announces reopening phases, City of Independence shares updates for residents

County Executive Frank White today announced the Phase 1 details for the reopening of Jackson County. Citizens can find a full summary of this information, including essential and nonessential business reopening criteria, here bit.ly/2zcMrJ0.

“Over the last week the Mayors of eastern Jackson County have worked diligently to ensure our residents were heard as Jackson County prepared its reopening plan,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “The plan announced this afternoon incorporated many, though not all, of our suggestions. Phase one provides important guidance for our businesses, residents and visitors. I know there will be more questions as the phases continue, and the mayors of Jackson County will continue to collaborate and offer input. Please continue to practice social distancing, wear masks when in public, regularly wash your hands and if you are sick, please stay home.”

Jackson County’s phases will last approximately 2 weeks and before moving to the next phase the following criteria must be met: (1) the number of new cases has declined for at least 14 days; (2) rapid diagnostic testing capacity is sufficient to test, at minimum, all people with COVID-19 symptoms, as well as close contacts and those in essential roles; (3) the healthcare system is able to safely care for all patients, including having appropriate personal protective equipment for healthcare workers; and (4) there is sufficient public health capacity to conduct contact tracing for all new cases and their close contacts. 

“If you have questions about the phases or criteria for any type of business or service on the County level, you can share those directly with the County at Coronavirusinfo@jacksongov.org or the City of Independence at covid19@indepmo.org,” Mayor Weir said.

With the phases from the County, the City of Independence is now preparing to implement its phased reopening as well. City facilities will begin reopening to the public no earlier than June 1. Parks and Recreation Departments are working collaboratively across the region to develop reopening plans, safety measures, and guidelines to prepare for reopening those assets. These openings will likely include different dates for the various communities in Jackson County but will be clearly marked and communicated when determined.

“We are proceeding with caution and working to be as thorough as possible for the health and safety of our staff and residents,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “These plans are taking into account the need to continue working remotely where possible, splitting shifts to limit the number of staff working in areas of the City and limiting potential cross exposure, and protecting our staff that may be particularly vulnerable to this disease. We will be sharing updated phases via the City’s website at indep.us/coronavirus, on our social media platforms and notifications at each of the public City facilities.”

For the latest updates on changes to services, closings and cancellations in the City of Independence related to COVID-19, please visit indep.us/coronavirus. All citizens are also encouraged to follow the City on Facebook at facebook.com/CityofIndependence, Twitter @CItyofIndepMo, and Nextdoor for updates on this changing situation. Citizens are encouraged to share questions not addressed with us at covid19@indepmo.org or via the call center at (816) 325-7033.