The Kansas City Monarchs, a minor league baseball team, will be allowing spectators this season, opening up season ticket sales late last month.
While obviously good news for fans, according to Fox 4 in Kansas City, Kansas, when the season starts on May 18, the stands at Field of Legends will be at 50 percent capacity and fans will be expected to sit in socially distanced pods.
However, the Monarchs are also requiring fans to wear masks — despite the social distancing already imposed at the outdoor arena.
The Major League Kansas City Royals, in Missouri, have implemented similar restrictions.
This flies in the face of both CDC guidelines and the current Wyandotte County masking order.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines suggest people should take a mask with them for times they cannot remain socially distanced, but that it is not necessary to wear a mask while outdoors.
Likewise, the latest mask order from the Wyandotte County Health Department, on page 4 paragraph 1, section d., states specifically that masks are only required outdoors when: “unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity).”
This also comes at a time when case counts in Kansas are down overall, the New York Times reporting that as of April 13, the 14-day rolling average shows a 2% drop in cases, a 75% reduction in deaths, a 6% reduction in hospitalizations and 23% of the population fully vaccinated.
In Wyandotte County, as of April 12, the daily case count has held relatively stable at 13 and the hospitalization rate is going down.
Given all of the above, it is unclear why the Monarchs would require masks, although apparently, the requirements are in part from the American Association of Professional Baseball, which controls the Monarch’s league.
On March 29, the Sentinel reached out to the Monarchs to ask specifically about these restrictions.
The Sentinel asked:
- Why are masks being required, when even local health orders say people don’t have to wear them when outside and socially distanced?
- Please explain what guidance you are using to form this safety plan, and what scientific evidence this guidance uses.
A response was requested no later than April 5, as of April 13, no response has been received.