Preparing for the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
On March 12, 2020, Mayor Eileen Weir declared a State of Emergency in the City of Independence. City Code 11.12.004 grants the Mayor emergency powers to promulgate emergency regulations deemed necessary to protect life and property. This was affirmed by the City Council on Friday, March 13, when the Council approved the declaration of a State of Emergency.
Effective 12:01 am Tuesday, March 24, Jackson County, Missouri, is requiring people to stay at home except for essential needs. The intent of this order is to ensure the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum extent feasible.
Vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions must stay at home. All community members should stay at home except to perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time.
It is OK to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and practice proper social distancing.
This order is in effect until at least April 24. Learn more here
The City is now working with our regional, state and federal partners to ensure that we are prepared for the spread of this disease. In the meantime, citizens and staff are encouraged to take all steps possible to keep themselves healthy, including regular handwashing, cleaning surfaces that come into contact with your hands, coughing/sneezing into your elbow, getting vaccinated against the seasonal flu, and limiting interactions with others when you are sick.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. At 8 a.m. today, the hotline opened and can be reached at (877) 435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Updates on Closings, Cancellations, & Changes in Services
As of March 16, all public gatherings are discouraged in the City of Independence.
As of March 17, all bars and taverns are closed in Independence. Restaurants are not allowed to maintain any sit-in dining but those that have the ability to provide curbside pickup, delivery or to-go orders are allowed to continue.
As of March 23, all body care services in the City of Independence will be prohibited in Independence. This includes hair salons, nail salons, barbers, tattoo and piercing services, and massage providers.Healthcare services such as physical therapy are not impacted. Further, the County closed all Movie Theatres on March 17.
As of March 25, park playgrounds in the City of Independence are closed to the public. This closure includes park restrooms and water fountains.
As of April 1, basketball courts, tennis courts, pickle ball courts, racket ball courts and the skate park are closed.
You can find an up-to-date list of changes in services within City departments, closures and cancellations here. This website will be updated regularly as this situation continues to evolve.
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 now able to report their concerns via the City’s new app - IndepNow. You can download the mobile app from the Google Play Store here or the Apple App Store here.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
We've Answered Your Questions Here
Press Conference 3/13/2020
Updated: April 1, 2020
Updated March, 20, 2020
- Animal Services – As of March 24 the Regional Animal Shelter is closed to the public. There will be no adoptions or surrenders of stray or owned animals, unless deemed an emergency. Please call (816) 325-7207.
- Body Care Services Prohibited (3/23/20) All body care services in the City of Independence will be prohibited as of 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 22. This includes hair salons, nail salons, barbers, tattoo and piercing services, and massage providers. Retail sales at these locations are not permitted. Healthcare services such as physical therapy are not impacted.
- Building Permits – All trade permits (electrical, mechanical, plumbing and roofing) will be completed through the website at indep.us/permitportal. All other permits will be completed by appointment only. Please call (816) 325-7401 to make an appointment, only check payments will be accepted.
- Business Licenses – All liquor administrative hearings have been cancelled. Business owners or applicants should contact the Business License Compliance officers via (816) 325-7079. To renew business licenses, please visit indep.us/businesslicenses . Staff will investigate complaints of non-essential businesses.
- Census – There will be no Census Assistant Centers available at this time. You will receive your mailing this week and can complete it online, by phone or by mail. Mayor Weir is leading the Independence Complete Count Committee and she will continue to coordinate this effort and provide information to the citizens and community partners who are assisting in the Census outreach. Visit 2020census.gov for questions or details.
- Facilities – Facilities maintenance crews will increase regular cleaning rotations throughout the various buildings, including sanitizing regularly touched locations such as door handles, counters, elevator buttons and railings.
- Fire Department –
- Stations will restrict public access to our Fire Department facilities. Personnel are asked to voluntarily limit family from coming in to Fire Department facilities.
- The Fire Department will cease Commercial Inspection activity in the Operations Division.
- The Department is immediately suspending the Ride-Along Program.
- We will also be reducing some of our non-essential activities that require crews to leave their stations.
- Our citizens should continue to call 9-1-1 for emergencies and (816) 836-3600 for non-emergencies.
- They are preparing for other deployment changes as the situation evolves.
- Paying utility bills – The Independence Utility Center closed March 17, 2020, and will remain so until approximately April 24. Please use the drop box at City Hall, 111 E. Maple Ave., or the Independence Utilities Center, 17221 E. 23rd St. S., for check and money order utility payments. As previously announced, customers are encouraged to pay their utility bills via the City’s website here, or over the automated phone system at (816) 325-SERV. All credit card and online transaction fees are being waived until further notice. Further, there will be no utility shut-offs or late fees until further notice.
- Police Department –
- The Police Department is closing the lobby of Central Police Headquarters located at 223 N. Memorial Drive. A telephone is available to the public in the vestibule to make police reports, speak with police personnel and request other services.
- Finger printing and Watch Guard Security licensing renewals will be extended through June and will not be renewed until further notice. Traffic crash reports can still be obtained online at buycrash.com .
- The police department is implementing some operational adjustments including work schedules and encouraging citizens to report certain types of incidents over the phone instead of utilizing critical emergency resources to respond to their location.
- When requesting police services, please continue to call 9-1-1 for emergencies and (816) 836-3600 for non-emergencies and past occurred incidents. Our call takers will assign a priority level and determine the best course of action.
- Reporting concerns – Citizens are now able to report their concerns via the City’s new app - IndepNow. You can download the app from the Google Play Store here or the Apple App Store here. Please allow for delays in response to these service requests as City staff work through this situation with modified staffing in various departments.
- Phone Bank Available - CItizens can also call (816)325-7033 to ask questions related to COVID-19, changes in City services, resources and more. The phone bank is open from 8AM-5PM, Monday through Friday.
Please see the note below from our friends at the United Way of Greater Kansas City
To our local leaders in the civic and business community:
During this urgent and unprecedented public health crisis, we want to remind you of the referral services available to your constituents through 211, a one-stop resource for community relief – food, financial help, utility assistance, tax services and more.
Through 211, callers are connected to more than 8,000 programs run by nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the 23-county United Way 211 service area. Please share this 24/7/365 resource through your website and other channels.
For assistance, visit 211kc.org? or dial 211.
Sincerely, United Way of Greater Kansas City