City warns bars to follow mask ordinance or liquor license could be in jeopardy

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Bar owners should consider themselves warned.

“Without complying with the mask ordinance, you do put your liquor license in jeopardy,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple on Monday. “So we should be seeing a tapering off of the numbers and a downward trend, but for that to happen we do need people, businesses, and also individuals to take the mask ordinance seriously.”

Mayor Whipple says COVID-19 numbers are on the rise again. He adds there have been multiple cases of new COVID-19 infections that are being traced back to bars.

“So what we found out is that part of the conditions to having a liquor license is to follow city ordinances,” said Whipple.

The Wichita Police Department has handed out letters to at least two bars in Wichita.

The letter says, in part, a liquor license can be taken away.

“The City of Wichita has received a complaint you are out of compliance with the City’s Mask Ordinance,” reads the letter. It goes on to say, in part, “Failure to comply could lead to a fine and a possible review of your liquor license.”

Mayor Whipple says WPD has found evidence in bars of overcrowding and customers not being asked to wear their masks.

“There have been instances wherein some bars people are just shoulder-to-shoulder with no social distancing and the masks are just not being worn in some cases,” said the Mayor.

Whipple was on a conference call with the major hospitals on Monday and said it’s time to get serious about stopping the spread because hospitals are seeing more COVID-19 patients.

“So we are going through things with city legal,” said Whipple. “But this is serious and we can’t have packed bars with people just not caring. There are measures we can take if bars are not taking this seriously.”

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