Late yesterday afternoon, Sedgwick County issued a press release about the new Emergency Public Health Order signed by the county’s Local Health Officer. As a result of the continued rise of cases in Sedgwick County, Dr. Minns ordered bars to close, gatherings to be limited to 15 or less, and restaurants that sell alcohol must close by midnight. Be sure to read the release, which I’ve posted below, as it will clear up some confusion.
The press release explains that “Events and business occupancy are not capped at 15 people.” Rather, groups of 15 or less must be spaced six feet apart. (And the people within those groups should be known to each other.)
Although the new order doesn’t seem to prohibit them, several local events have been canceled anyway. And this order seems likely to affect some of our favorite fall events.
The order will be in place at least until September 9, 2020.
You can read the entire release below. The order doesn’t impact indoor or outdoor entertainment venues with a capacity of under 2000 where social distancing of six feet can be maintained at all times.
We have worked hard to come up with some fun things you can do while maintaining social distance and following the recommendations of those who are making the mandates. Please share any suggestions you have with us.
Top Free Things to Do in Wichita, KS (Not all of these are available right now, but this article has great ideas from our readers.)
Wichita-area Farmers Markets (And now is a great time to go, because tomatoes are ripe!)
Wichita Events Calendar (Please note that anything you see on our calendar *could* possibly be canceled at any time. Be sure to check with event organizers before you head out.)
PRESS RELEASE July 22, 2020
New Order Limits Public Gatherings to 15 People
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – As a result of continued increases in COVID-19 cases in Sedgwick County, which is outpacing the state of Kansas and national numbers, Dr. Garold Minns, Sedgwick County’s Local Health Officer, signed a new order to further reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. This new order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning, July 24, 2020 and be in place until at least midnight Wednesday night, September 9, 2020. It replaces the order from July 9.
Residents are still required to wear masks or face coverings in public spaces. There are some exceptions to this rule as not everyone is able to safely wear a mask. Exceptions to the order are included in the document.
The order adopts Phase 2 of the Ad Astra Plan which allows groups of up to 15 people, as long as those people are commonly known to one another, and must be located at least six feet away from other groups. Events and business occupancy are not capped at 15 people.
Additionally, bars and nightclubs shall be closed to the public except where curbside and carryout services are allowed and all other businesses that are not bars or nightclubs but licensed to sell alcohol are now to close by midnight and not reopen until at least 5 a.m. the next day.
Recreational, youth, or other non-professional organized sports facilities, sports tournaments, sports games, and sports practices may occur.
Outdoor and indoor entertainment venues may open as long as they comply with the mass gatherings requirement, social distancing, and the total number of attendees for the venue does not exceed 2,000 people.
Religious institutions, election polling places, licensed childcare facilities, schools, and court facilities are exempted from the mass gathering limits.
PRESS RELEASE July 8, 2020:
Minns Signs Emergency Public Health Order
(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Dr. Garold Minns, Local Health Officer for Sedgwick County this afternoon signed an Emergency Public Health Order that will require any person within Sedgwick County to cover his or her mouth and nose with a mask or other face covering in situations such as:
- inside any indoor or outdoor public space where social distancing of six feet at all times is not possible
- in line and waiting to enter an indoor public space
This order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday morning, July 10, 2020 and to be in place until at least midnight Sunday night, August 9, 2020.
“As a long-time medical professional, I know taking these steps will help our community in the long run,” said Minns. “It is important for our residents, businesses, and whole community to come together to protect one another from COVID-19 and also enact measures that will allow for us to recover economically.”
Additionally, all businesses, organizations, and non-profits in Sedgwick County must require all employees, customers, visitors, members, or members of the public to wear a mask or face covering in instances including when:
- employees are working in any space visited by customers or members of the public
- employees who are working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution
There are some exceptions to this rule as not everyone is able to safely wear a mask. Exceptions to the order are included in the document.
The order also calls for Phase 3 of the Ad Astra Plan to be adopted and incorporated into this order along with limiting mass gathering of more than 45 individuals in one location where social distancing is not available.