Mission lifts remaining mask mandate at Sylvester Powell Community Center, other city facilities

Sylvester Powell Community Center

While the Mission City Council approved $2 million facility conservation upgrades — most of which will go toward Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center — Councilmember Nick Schlossmacher was against the approval because he's uncertain about the future of the community center.

Almost two years to the day after the city of Mission first developed safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is lifting its mask mandate for city facilities, including Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center.

Why it matters: Effective Thursday, March 31, masks and social distancing measures are no longer required at the Powell Community Center, Mission City Hall, the city’s police station and all other city facilities.

In early January, the city joined Prairie Village and Roeland Park in stepping up COVID-19 mitigation protocols by enacting a citywide mask mandate. After cases dropped, the city allowed the mask mandate to expire in mid-February but continued requiring masks in indoor public facilities.

Considering the local COVID-19 case trends have lowered to about 3% positivity, the Mission City Council on Wednesday evening unanimously approved lifting the remaining mask mandate.

A few other takeaways:

  • Mission will return to a mask mandate for all indoor public spaces if the community returns to a “high” level of COVID-19 transmission, as defined by the CDC. 
  • If the city reaches the CDC-defined “medium” level of COVID-19 transmission, the city council will first discuss next steps before taking action.
  • Employees and members of the public can still wear masks if they want.
  • The city still recommends employees get vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • Cleaning and sanitization measures remain in place, and the city will continue to work on additional enhancements in public facilities such as touchless faucets and toilets in the restrooms.

Key quote: “I think we’ve been thoughtful and careful and conservative in our approach to many of these things, and I think it’s paid off in many cases. As we’ve had peaks and valleys throughout this pandemic, I think our employees have done a good job. We’ve not had outbreaks among our own employees. We’ve not had outbreaks here at the community center. And I think that’s a testament to the policies that you all had put in place and just the conscientiousness of our staff and the patrons in our facilities.” – City Administrator Laura Smith

A recording of the meeting is below.