KCQ tackles the coronavirus question of the moment: What is opened, closed under order?

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

By Robert A. Cronkleton

The coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, creating much uncertainty about what will happen next. “What’s Your KCQ?” — a partnership between The Star and the Kansas City Public Library — doesn’t have all the answers, but we are committed to telling you what we know.

Last week we put out the call for questions, and KCQ readers responded. One asked, “Why are beauty salons still open?” (In fact, many of the initial questions were related to what will and won’t be open during the next several weeks.)

The timing of the question is perfect, since an area-wide stay-at-home order starts Tuesday. Besides Kansas City and Jackson County, orders have been issued in Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties in Kansas and Clay, Platte and Cass counties in Missouri.

That doesn’t mean residents will have to lock themselves inside and not emerge for 30 days. People will still be able to get out and do activities that are essential to their health and safety, as well as their family members’ and friends’.

So that brings us to the key phrase in the order: What is essential?

You can still go grocery shopping, seek medical care, take care of family members and friends, go to work at an essential business, get mail and exercise outdoors.

But what about the beauty salon? What if you really need a haircut? Or a touch-up to your roots?

The answer: Hair and nail salons and tanning studios, as well as other businesses that provide personal services, are not classified as essential. Also, gyms, workout facilities and golf courses are not considered essential either.

Go here to see more of what you can and can’t do under the order.

For more information, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas suggested consulting a page on the city’s website that answers the most frequently asked questions about the order.

And Kansas City’s full stay-at-home order can be found at kcmo.gov. The city’s KC BizCare also has resources to help businesses.

“What’s Your KCQ?” will stay on the job while the order remains in effect. Keep asking us your top-of-mind coronavirus questions here, in the module below, or on kansascity.com/kcq.