Submitted Graphic

CLAY COUNTY — Clay County as of Monday, June 1, is entering Step 2 of the county public health center’s COVID-19 recovery phased-in plan. In this step, limitations on businesses and organizations are still enacted, but limited mass gatherings are allowed. The new allowances apply to all areas of the county except where additional restrictions and orders are in place, such as Kansas City.

In Step 2, occupancy limits for retail businesses must match the governor’s order issued Thursday, May 28, which states retail spaces less than 10,000 square feet must limit occupancy to 25% or less of its fire or building code occupancy and spaces of 10,000 square feet or more must limit occupancy to 10% or less of its fire or building code occupancy.

“It is expected that this step will last a minimum of four weeks and possibly longer. During this step, it is important to continue to wear a face covering and practice social distancing. The goal is to not return to a stay-at-home order, however, if at any time COVID-19 disease rates demonstrate the need return to those measures, this public health order will be amended,” states the Clay County Public Health Center’s Recovery Plan.

In addition, in Step 2, mass gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed including weddings and funerals; restricted child care and day camps can resume; public pools can open with up to 25% bather load allowed; parks, trails and public playgrounds can open with physical distancing requirements; and restricted organized sports are allowed.

As of Monday, June 1, Assistant County Administrator for Public Services Nicole Brown said county playgrounds, campsites and shelter houses are open. Offices of elected officials, such as Recorder of Deeds, Collector, Assessor and Clerk, are open by appointment only.

“People need to continue to maintain a social distance and those small groups until we get to move toward some of those broader steps within the health department order,” she said, adding more details on county outdoor amenities can be found on the county’s site at

“For all other business and organizations, occupancy restrictions are relaxed to 50% of the entity’s authorized building/fire code occupancy. All businesses and organizations must continue to apply physical distancing strategies in all facilities. Face coverings are to be used by employees. When possible, business operations should still be conducted remotely allowing employees to work from home,” states the county recovery plan and related health order issued by the health center.

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus as more public entities begin to open, the health center also reminds the public to adhere to the following safety precautions:

• Anyone who is sick should stay home.

• Wear a face mask/covering when interacting with others outside one’s home.

• Maintain physical distancing of 6 feet from anyone a person does not live with.

• Maintain the highest levels of cleaning and hygiene.

“We continue to actively monitor local data on a daily basis and react and adjust accordingly,” states a release from the health center.

Since the county first began reporting cases, the total number of reported, confirmed cases of county residents is 490 as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3. The number climbed by 51 cases from Saturday, May 30, when the total was 449. Of the 490 cases, 300 reside in Kansas City while 190 live elsewhere in the county. Of the total cases reported in Kansas City, the death toll is five. Elsewhere in the county, related deaths remain at 1.

According to Clay County Public Health Center’s new recovery dashboard online at, of the remaining 189 positive cases who live outside Kansas City in the county, 63 have been isolated and 126 have been released from isolation, meaning they are or have recovered.

This number is up from 105 as of Saturday, which is a positive trend. Of the total positive cases reported by Clay County Public Health, which does not include residents in Kansas City, 31 were hospitalized for treatment and six remain actively hospitalized.

For more details on business and public facility openings related to the new recovery step, visit How cities and local businesses are responding to the new step in the county recovery process will be published as details become available.