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Jackson County reinstating mask mandate 

Jackson County is reinstating its indoor mask mandate Monday, following other communities amid rising coronavirus case rates. 

Masks will be required for everyone age 5 and older regardless of vaccination status. The order will remain in effect for 30 days in an effort to stay in line with a new state law limiting emergency health orders to a 30-day period before requiring approval from the local governing body. 

Jackson County Executive Frank White said the move was an effort to combat rising COVID-19 cases and ease the stress on the county’s hospital system.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we have relied upon our public health and medical professionals to provide us with the data and guidance that we need to make informed decisions based on science and not on politics,” White said in a statement. “Wearing a mask may not be fun, but it is our best shot at preventing our hospitals from being overwhelmed, keeping our businesses open and our kids in school.”

Kansas City’s own indoor mask mandate resumed this week, but not without opposition: Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday, calling the mandate “unreasonable, unconstitutional, and arbitrary and capricious” and asking the court to invalidate it.

The lawsuit came after Schmitt succeeded in temporarily blocking St. Louis County’s mask mandate while a court is set to consider its validity. 

Jackson County reported 1,139 new cases in the last seven days with four deaths. Less than 40 percent of the county’s adult population is fully inoculated, while 45 percent have received at least an initial dose.