City of Independence, Missouri

City of Independence announces health guideline updates for residents, businesses

City of Independence Mayor Eileen Weir, in consultation with Acting Health Director Christina Heinen, today issued updated health orders which will go into effect at 12 a.m. on April 23, 2021.

“We are not out of the woods yet, but our numbers are at this time moving in the right direction, which is allowing us to prepare for this next big step forward in our community,” Mayor Weir said. “Our efforts to provide vaccinations, testing, and contact tracing combined with the incredible cooperation of our community to comply with the public health orders has resulted in lower rates of infection, positive cases, and hospitalizations. Meeting these goals and sustaining lower numbers over the next two weeks will allow our community to move into the next phase of reopening.”

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

  • - Indoor and outdoor dining capacity limits have been removed with no social distancing requirements. However, patrons must be seated when eating and drinking and masks must be worn when not actively eating or drinking.
  • - Large capacity entertainment and recreational venues must limit the number of individuals (staff and customers) in the facility to ensure at least six feet of social distancing between patrons or groups.
  • - Masks are required in all indoor spaces.
  • - Citizens are urged to continue to wash your hands regularly and stay home if you are sick.

The full orders will be posted the week of April 12 at indep.us/saferindependence.

The Health Order and its contents will be reviewed every 15 days as this situation continues to quickly evolve. The next date will be April 26.

Beginning on April 16, the Independence Utilities Center will be open on Fridays. On May 1, the City of Independence moves to Phase 2 of its Facilities and Services Reopening Plan. This includes opening the Historic Bingham-Waggoner Estate and Vaile Mansion. A full overview of the Phases and changes going into effect will be posted the week of April 12 at indep.us/saferindependence.

The City’s main gaiting criteria for these decisions is the number of new daily cases per 100,000 in Independence zip codes and the surrounding area, as well as hospitalization rates and percent positivity. At this time, the two-week average for positive cases in eastern Jackson County is 3.51 percent. CDC recommendations outline communities with rates under 5 percent have the virus substantially under control.

On April 6 the State of Missouri announced the South African COVID-19 variant had been found in Jackson County and the UK Variant had previously been identified in the area. The main risk with the new variants is the potential for them to spread quickly amongst unvaccinated individuals, so the City will continue monitoring to ensure that no uptick in cases is seen.

Additionally, Independence residents can find updated information on local vaccine clinics and the State’s vaccine distribution plan at indep.us/vaccines.  As of Friday, April 9, the State has moved to Phase 3 of the Vaccine Distribution Plan allowing all adults to register for vaccines and anyone over the age of 16 to register for Pfizer vaccines.