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Sedgwick County: ‘Public Health Order not voluntary’

Sedgwick County, Kansas
Sedgwick County, Kansas(KWCH)
Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 3:49 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Sedgwick County put out a release on Monday reminding residents that public health orders are not voluntary.

The county’s Local Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns signed the new emergency public health order which will take effect Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. It is set to expire at midnight on Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

“Section III of this order was revised to remove language stating that the order was voluntary. Any persons or organizations within Sedgwick County must comply with the order,” said the county.

As of Monday, Section III reads: “Lawful Order and Voluntary Compliance.  This Order is a lawfully issued order pursuant to K.S.A. 65-202 and K.S.A. 65-119(a).  The aim of this Order is for residents and organizations within Sedgwick County to voluntarily comply with public health best practices in order to achieve a community-based approach to combat the spread of COVID-19.  Pursuant to the limits established by the Kansas Statutes that provide the authority for this Order, it cannot be enforced through criminal charges, fines, or civil penalties.  However, this is a “public health directive” as identified within Section 9 of 2020 Special Session House Bill No. 2016.  Any criminal enforcement that a city may be authorized to undertake pursuant to such city’s ordinances shall be unaffected by this Order.”

On Tuesday, the order will be updated to say, “Section III. Lawful Order. This Order is a lawfully issued order pursuant K.S.A. 65-202 and K.S.A. 65-119 (a), and is also a “public health directive” as identified within Section 9 of 2020 Special Session House Bill No. 2016. Individuals and organizations withing Sedgwick County are required to comply with this Order.”

Dr. Minns will continue to review and monitor COVID-19 trends in the community and will consider lifting restrictions as trends move in a positive direction, the county said.

“Our community toolbox consists of mask wearing, social distancing, and good hand hygiene, as the best ways for the community to continue to slow the spread of COVID19 and protect one another,” said the county.

Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.

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