Hamburger Mary's & Woody's make bold mask statement

Beginning today, customers will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to access popular LGBTQ+ establishments Hamburger Mary’s and Woody’s. To enter, customers must have a valid photo ID and either a valid COVID-19 vaccination card (photocopy or photo on phone will also be accepted). This move comes as Kansas City reinstates its mask mandate for indoor spaces, officially beginning yesterday, August 2, 2021.

Hamburger Mary's Kansas City. Facebook profile photo ca. 2014.

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Hamburger Mary's, Woody's make announcement

Citing a moral obligation to protect its customers, the businesses announced this policy on social media on Sunday, August 1, 2021, in a post that reads:

Beginning Tuesday, August 3, Hamburger Mary’s KC and Woody’s KC will no longer allow patrons to enter our establishments who have not been vaccinated. This is not a political decision. This is a decision that we feel is the moral requirement to help safeguard our staff, guests and their families from exposure to the Covid-19 virus. We do not apologize for our stance in this matter. We encourage other businesses, restaurants and bars to make the same decision. If you want to come to our establishment—and more importantly, if you want to defeat this virus that has plagued us for the last 18 months--please get vaccinated.

To enter our establishments proof of vaccination will be required. Please bring a photo id and either your original Covid-19 vaccination certificate, a photocopy of it, or a high rez photo of it on your phone. Thank you.

Hamburger Mary's / Woody's

Screenshot: Facebook mask requirement announcement.

At the time of this writing, the post had over three thousand comments and had been shared nearly a thousand times. Woody’s post on Instagram had been liked over 400 times. Many of the comments have been supportive, but there has also been a groundswell of backlash—though it is clear that many of the negative comments are from individuals who do not currently (now who were likely to ever) patronize the establishments!

New City Mask Mandate

These LGBTQ+ establishments aren’t taking a political stand, they claim, but a step in the interest of public health. This is supported by the fact that the city is moving to reinstitute indoor mask mandates for all—including those who have been vaccinated—except for a small exempt subset of people. So far, COVID-19 has killed over 2,300 metro KC residents and infected 161k+ in the region, according to the Kansas City Star. The troubling rise of the Delta variant and low rates of vaccination has spurred local government action, setting city leaders at odds with state government.

This iteration of the mask mandate applies to all persons ages 5 and older in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. Exempted are children under 5, individuals with disabilities for whom masks would be a substantial burden, customers eating or drinking in a restaurant or bar (while socially distanced), customers getting services that require access to mouth or face (such as dental services or cosmetic procedures), and where everyone present is verified to have been vaccinated.

Photo courtesy of Joe Eats World

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