Community, COVID-19, Education, Health, Legislative, Ordinances, Safety, Testing, Vaccine

SPECIAL MEETING | Council Recap – 01/12/22

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

Public Input – No one signed up to give in-person public input

Council members DID receive a dozen or so emails – overwhelmingly (IMHO) in favor of a mandate. I personally received about a dozen more.

City Council meetings for the foreseeable future will be virtual on Facebook Live.

Mask Mandate

Mayor Mikkelson’s Update:

  • Severe staff shortages
  • Unprecedented dire healthcare emergency – a “Viral Blizzard”
  • COVID patients are clogging up the hospitals.
  • Lines in ERs are as long as 11 hours.
  • Ambulance system is having to triage for most extreme cases to pickup and divert.
  • Ventilator and blood supply shortages as well as shortage of ICU beds
  • Treatment shortages
  • Majority of COVID patients are unvaccinated, but this is impacting EVERYone’s health care access. It’s not a time to slip on the ice, break your leg, have a baby, have a heart attack, etc.. Procedures are being canceled due to the current situation.
  • Active outbreaks in LTCFs again – even here in Prairie Village. It’s going through some senior facilities like a wildfire.
  • In last 9 days, key metrics have tripled
    • 1182 new cases/100k
    • 30.6% percent positive
    • deaths have doubled; was one per day, now two per day
  • COVID is the highest killer of police today.
  • Vaccines/boosters are widely available, but home testing kits are in short supply
  • PV’s vaccination rate was inaccurately reported in the 90th percentile; it’s actually only at 68.8%! (5 yo plus)
  • Seeing some indicators of a possible flattening of the curve in relation to Omicron in NY and the UK, but we still have a long way to go in JoCo.

Sources: MARC COVID hub, CMO weekly updates, JCDHE

Details on the ordinance:

  • Significantly different from our past ordinance and most other ordinances around us.
  • Takes the onus off of the businesses and puts it squarely on the individual
  • We have listened to the businesses and the burden that policing their customers put on their staff
  • Roeland Park & Mission, KS are both considering a similar mask mandate substantially identical to this one.
    • Mission approved theirs 7-0
    • Roeland Park approved theirs 7-1 with an added signage requirement
  • Enforcement will be EDUCATION FIRST just as last time.
  • Discretion, as with any violation, will be vested with PVPD
  • $25 penalty if education doesn’t work
  • Will expire February 16th unless it’s voted to rescind early

Communication Methods: social media, website, media coverage, hopefully businesses, etc.

Metric: It’s not a simple math problem. There are multiple complex variables, and we don’t know how to boil it down to a single metric. Every few months the game board gets flipped by new information and we have to reset and regroup.

Individual Focus: This is possibly where it should have always been. We’ve certainly learned which of our friends, family, and neighbors are willing to make sacrifices for the greater good and which are not.

Dr. Areola says:

  • Full Vaccination is best.
    • Boosting is exponentially better at preventing omicron
  • Need more efficient masks – like KN95 – to fit better and be sturdy
    • Don’t worry about N95. That’s a respirator and must be fit-tested.
    • If you can’t get a KN95, double up your mask – 2-3 layers, such as a surgical mask with a double-layer cloth mask over the top.
  • The current trajectory isn’t sustainable for our healthcare system
  • We’re appealing to the community to protect those that are most vulnerable
  • l can’t see how you keep schools open withOUT masks. This virus loves the indoor environment.
  • The step PV is taking tonight is needed and appreciated.

Will this be effective? Will non-maskers comply to an ordinance with very dull teeth: Yes, it’s imperfect, but liken it to a seatbelt. There’s no obligation for anyone to turn anyone else in. In this case, if a store owner does want to enforce masks in their space, then they have the ability to make a trespassing complaint.

I didn’t share any comments tonight, as my comments are on record from December 20th and January 3rd when I asked for a mandate then. I appreciate that others needed more persuading, but we got where we need to be…

Prairie Village City Council voted UNANIMOUSLY to enact the published ordinance as written in the agenda packet linked below. Goes into effect next week and expire on February 16th.

Agenda Packet for your reference

I try to shop at Amazon as little as possible THIS (and the link above) is the KN95 mask I’ve purchased for our family because it was recommended by a medical doctor practicing medicine in Shawnee.

Some other things you may have missed:

Infographic for new Property Tax Rebate Program. Details at link.
The City’s holiday tree recycling program is available now until January 16. Live holiday trees can be placed in designated areas of Porter, Franklin, and Taliaferro Parks. Trees must be free of all lights, ornaments, stands, nails, etc. as these items will damage the chipper.




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