The City of Independence today announced that it will remain in Phase 1 beyond the projected date of July 1. Phase 1 has been modified with a few updates for Parks | Recreation | Tourism Department facilities. Additionally, effective immediately all staff in City buildings will be required to wear a mask and visitors are encouraged to wear a mask when conducting their business at the different facilities.
“The gating criteria we developed for the City of Independence COVID-19 pandemic reopening plan has not been met,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “This included a sustained decrease in positive cases, robust testing and tracing capabilities, and adequate PPE. In the first 21 days of June, eastern Jackson County has experienced more positive cases of COVID-19 than we did in March, April or May. Since declaring a State of Emergency on March 12, Independence has committed to an aggressive, proactive, and forward-looking approach to protecting the health of our community. Our Incident Command Team continues to collaborate with area health experts and providers to monitor cases and hospitalization while we work to increase testing and tracing capacity for our citizens.”
City Hall, the Independence Police Headquarters, and the Independence Utility Center will continue to be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Guests and staff will be required to participate in a temperature check and basic health screening prior to entrance. Those individuals found to have a fever or other symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to complete their business online or via phone calls or digital meetings.
Additionally, the City has made the decision to keep the Vaile Mansion, Bingham-Waggoner Estate, Chicago & Alton Depot and 1827 Log Cabin closed for the 2020 season. The annual holiday events at the Vaile Mansion and Bingham-Waggoner Estate will be evaluated in September.
“These are difficult decisions, but we remain focused on slowing the spread of COVID-19 so we can resume community events and gatherings as soon as possible,” Mayor Weir said. “We are not there yet, and only through continued vigilance will we be able to move to Phase 2 and beyond. I urge every citizen and visitor to limit activities, wear a mask when you leave your residence, wash your hands frequently, and stay home if you are not feeling well.”
You can find an updated overview of the Phases as well as anticipated timelines associated with them here. It is important to keep in mind that the timelines and guidelines may change as conditions warrant.
Below is a summary of updates made to Phase 1 which will go into effect on July 1:
Baseball fields and Independence Athletic Complex will reopen for practices and games with a limit of 50 participants, coaches and spectators. Games and practices will be scheduled to allow cleaning of facilities between each group. Tournaments will not be allowed in Phase 1.
The Independence Uptown Market Farmer’s Market will allow foot traffic beginning on July 11. Vendors, staff and volunteers will be required to wear a mask. Visitors will be required to follow markers to move through the space and are encouraged to wear a mask. Vendor spots will be limited to ensure proper distancing for all parties. There will not be a Farmers’ Market held on July 4 due to the Independence Day holiday.
The Roger T. Sermon Community Center, Truman Memorial Building and George Owens Nature Center will reopen with 50 percent capacity and social distancing requirements. Classes will resume at the Sermon Center and Truman Memorial Building with strict social distancing enforced. All patrons will be encouraged to wear a mask when not exercising.
The Palmer Senior Center, basketball courts, playgrounds and spraygrounds will remain closed until further notice.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via the call center at (816) 325-7033.