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Kansas City health experts are a “little nervous” about the rising coronavirus cases in the area and are going to have to emphasize more the use of masks.

During The University of Kansas Health System’s Monday’s briefing Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at the health system, said that health officials will have to think about measures to face the surge of infections and hospitalizations in Missouri.

“I think that we’re going to have to think very carefully about what are the right public health measures we’re going to do,” Stites said.

Though he didn’t go so far as to suggest making mask use a requirement again for indoor spaces, Stites said they will have to keep an eye on that possibility.

“I think we’re going to have to talk a little bit more about wearing masks because of the large people who aren’t vaccinated in our area,” Stites said. “And I think that plus people are getting together more, it’s a holiday, everybody wants to go back to normal.”

The full potential impact from gatherings over the Fourth of July weekend have not yet been realized.

In response to the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state, the City of Independence issued a Public Health Advisory Friday with the following recommendations:

Wear a mask while visiting indoor public places, no matter your vaccination status.

Get vaccinated as soon as possible. Parents are encouraged to take their children aged 12 or older to get vaccinated.

If you are sick, please stay home. Additionally, get tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if you think you only have a cold or allergies.

Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet when around people who may not be fully vaccinated. While people 12 and older are eligible for vaccination, that doesn’t mean everyone is. While in large groups or at events, don’t assume everyone around you is vaccinated.

Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds.

Talk to your friends and family about the importance of getting the vaccine. For parents of children younger than 12 who can’t be vaccinated, the best way to protect your child is to make sure the adults around them are vaccinated.

“We are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the KC Metro and State of Missouri related to the growth of the Delta Variant,” city officials said.

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Regardless of vaccination status the city said, everyone should be following the health recommendations from the advisory to protect the community.

Dana Hawkinson, medical director of Infection Prevention and Control at The University of Kansas Health System, reiterated the need for vaccinations, saying they help protect the person and the people around them from COVID-19.

“You also still protect those around you because data is very clear that you’re less likely to transmit it even if you do get sick if you’ve been vaccinated,” Hawkinson said. “So you do protect yourself, you do protect the people you care about in your community.”

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