WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Sedgwick County residents now have a way to report violations of Gov. Laura Kelly's order to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Photo courtesy: MGN
The county launched its Stay at Home Order Reporting page on Thursday.
The county says each report will be documented and reviewed. If it is determined that a non-essential business is operating or a non-essential activity is occurring, the appropriate parties will be contacted.
While violating the order or a quarantine order is considered a misdemeanor offense. All Kansas law enforcement officers are encouraged to use discretion in how and when to enforce violations.
Many of you have asked, "What makes a business essential?"
Are vape shops? It's a question we've received from the public, employees and store owners
Ky Corley is the attorney for Big E's Vape Shop. He said the company wanted to make sure it was complying with the stay at home order. He called the Sedgwick County hotline and was told because the store sells CBD, it is an essential business.
"Obviously, we want to preserve the health and safety or our employees and customers and overall health of Wichita and that's why we took the steps we did when the original conversation was being proffered," Corley said.
He said the business will begin using its equipment to make hand sanitizer in an effort to keep their workers employed.
Plenty of other businesses closed, including super craft store, Hobby Lobby, but they didn't stay closed. It's something many of you, including employees, take issue with.
Sedgwick County Assistant Counselor Justin Waggoner said the governor's order controls what's deemed as an essential function. He says that determination may be based on the primary purpose of the business.
"Some of it would be what is the primary purpose of that business that may be part of what folks look into in terms of analyzing this, whether it was the county's order last week, this week it is the governor's order," said Waggoner.
The State of Kansas Stay at Home order is in effect from Monday, March 30 through April 19. You can find a list of frequently asked questions regarding essential functions here.