City of Independence, Missouri

City of Independence announces new guidelines for residents, businesses

City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, in consultation with Acting Health Director Christina Heinen, today issued the Safer Independence guidelines which go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 11.

“With the recent recognition of the Independence Health Department as a Local Public Health Authority, we are charged with overseeing the health and well being of our local residents and businesses,” Mayor Weir said. “Beginning Friday, Dec. 11, we are permitting all bars, restaurants and taverns to serve food and drink between 5 a.m. and midnight. Like our peers, we are requiring masks in all public spaces unless actively eating or drinking. Further, for those businesses that do not comply with these orders, there will be strict consequences, including reduced curfews and, for multiple infractions, the potential loss of utilities.”

The City of Independence Health Department was recognized by the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services as a Local Public Health Authority last week. From now on, the City will issue separate orders and guidelines for residents and businesses of Independence.

Please find below an overview of the guidelines from the City of Independence:

  1. Masks must be worn while indoors unless alone in a room and outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Exceptions include children under the age of 5, those with disabilities, those eating, people "obtaining a service" where temporary removal is necessary (such as visiting a doctor or dentist), and professional sports and organized recreational athletes engaged in active game play.
  2. All gatherings of 10 or more people must ensure masks, social distancing, and submit a gathering protocol a minimum of 7 days in advance of a planned event.
  3. Bars, taverns and restaurants must stop indoor food and drink service between midnight and 5 a.m., must maintain no more than 50% occupancy, must enforce masks are worn when patrons are not actively eating/drinking, and must require social distancing between parties of patrons.
  4. All other businesses that are publicly accessible need to maintain social distancing and mask wearing.
  5. Businesses are held liable for compliance with the order. Failure to comply can result in a curfew restriction, revocation of licenses/permits, and the termination of utilities.

“We have been fortunate to see a high rate of compliance with orders in our area and have at this time not had to take strong enforcement measures with our businesses,” Mayor Weir said. “We understand these changes will cause questions and encourage our residents and business to reach out to us by calling (816) 325 – 6965 or emailing covid19@indepmo.org.”

The full guidelines and FAQs will be shared on the City’s website as soon as possible and shortened versions will be available on the City’s Facebook and Nextdoor accounts.