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New Sedgwick County order limits gatherings to 25, additional changes

Published: Nov. 24, 2020 at 1:39 PM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: Sedgwick County Local Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns signed an order which further increases community restrictions. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, November 27 and goes until 11:59 p.m., Saturday, January 9, 2021.

The order limits mass gatherings to 25 total individuals. People must still be masked and maintain 6 feet of social distancing.

“Businesses and organizations are responsible for ensuring that individuals comply with the order’s mask-wearing, mass gathering, percentage of fire code capacity limitations, and social distancing requirements. Businesses are expected to make efforts to comply with fire code capacity limitations included in this order,” said the county in a release.

Fitness centers are limited to 100 individuals or 50 percent of the fire code capacity, whichever is less, and must adhere to appropriate masking and social distancing precautions.

Restaurants, bars, and night clubs are not considered mass gatherings; however, they are required to reduce the amount of dine-in patrons to 100 people or 50 percent of the fire code capacity, whichever is less. Tables may not have more than eight people seated together. All tables must be spaced at least six feet apart.

Restaurants are allowed to have in-person dining between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m. only. Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., restaurants may continue curbside, drive through, and delivery services (but not carry-out).

Bars and night clubs’ in-person dining and drinking areas must be closed by 11 p.m., and remain closed until at least 5 a.m. or later pursuant to state or local law. Additionally, these businesses may remain open between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. for curbside, drive through, and delivery services (but not carry-out), to the extent this is allowed by state or local laws.

Retail stores are not considered mass gatherings; however, these entities are limited to 50 percent of fire code capacity based on concerns about social distancing and holiday shopping.

All recreational and youth organized sports tournaments, games, practices, etc., are still allowed but with no more than two spectators per participant. This restriction does not apply to any collegiate sporting events and sporting events governed by Kansas State High School Activities Association or school boards.

The county said large event venues are not permitted in excess of the mass gatherings limitations due to the current COVID-19 infection rates within the community and the risk of person-to-person transmission.

Dr. Minns offered additional recommendations:

  • Employers should allow employees to work remotely as much as possible.
  • Religious institutions are encouraged to offer remote or streaming worship opportunities in lieu of in-person services.
  • Schools, colleges, and universities should utilize remote learning as much as possible.
  • Schools are encouraged to cease all sports and other in-person extracurricular activities.
  • Everyone is encouraged to participate only in social gatherings, holiday gatherings, and related events with those who live within their household. If you do not live with you parents, grandparents or siblings, do not celebrate in person with them.
  • Residents are asked to limit time indoors with other people outside of your household.

Residents are reminded to wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick.

The Sedgwick County Board of Commissioners approved enforcement with the City of Wichita for the latest health order.

The order requires masks in public and limits mass gatherings to 100 people or 50 percent capacity for some businesses. Restaurants can only seat up to eight people per table and bars, clubs, and restaurants serving alcohol must close in-person service by 11 p.m.

Violating the order could result in a class I misdemeanor which could net up to a $500 fine.

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