A not so bold proclamation hit local news tonight . . . Following an afternoon of trying to defend his COVID mask extension orders, the mayor relented and backed down to critics.

Here's his statement . . .

    “Kansas City’s most recent order allowed all to go maskless outdoors and permitted unvaccinated persons to go maskless indoors with others who are vaccinated. As a matter of compliance, that allowed the Kansas City Health Department to check with retailers, employers, and more to ensure they were encouraging their staff to initiate the COVID-19 vaccine process.

    "While welcome, today’s CDC guidance creates confusion with Kansas City’s order. Throughout the pandemic we have endeavored to ensure clarity and effective public health guidance for Kansas Citians and, importantly, our businesses.

   "Staff at many establishments have been subject to harassment based on upholding our orders and we will not force them to do so further where our regulators cannot reasonably tell between those vaccinated or not at an establishment, and where our guidance may conflict with the CDC. We have followed CDC guidance throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so today.”

    “I cannot in good faith impose an order, replete with penalties for non-compliance, that is impossible for our businesses to follow.

    "Accordingly, effective tomorrow at noon, Kansas City will rescind its Fourteenth Emergency Order. We will shift, as is necessary, to ensuring those needing access to the vaccine take it, and that we look out for the continued health and safety of our neighbors.

   "We thank the many individuals and businesses in Kansas City who have worked hard to keep us all safe over the past fourteen months. We saved lives looking out for each other and all in Kansas City should be proud of the steps we have taken to protect our community’s health.”

Links . . .

Fox4: Kansas City to rescind mask order, effective Friday, after CDC's new guidance

KCUR: Mayor Lucas says he made the decision in consultation with Kansas City Health Department Director Rex Archer.

MCT: Kansas City to no longer mandate masks

KCTV5: The move comes after the CDC updated its own policy on masks Thursday.

Startland: KCMO mask order ends noon Friday; Mayor says CDC update makes rules impossible for businesses to follow

Developing . . .