New Sedgwick County health order limits gatherings to 25, additional changes

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Sedgwick County’s local health officer Dr. Garold Minns signed an order which further increases community restrictions due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county.

The order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m., Friday, November 27 to 11:59 p.m., Saturday, January 9, 2021.

Mass gatherings are limited to 25 total individuals. People must still be masked and maintain six 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.

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., may occur 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.

Due to the current COVID-19 infection rates within the community and the risk of person-to-person transmission of the virus within large gatherings, large event venues are not permitted to have gatherings in excess of the mass gatherings limitations included within the order.

Additional recommendations from Dr. Minns based on current community trends:

  • 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.

LOCAL ENFORCEMENT

Officials also finalized enforcement protocols in unincorporated areas of the county and within Wichita city limits concerning the health order. The county said that the focus of the enforcement is to educate businesses and encourage best health practices, but also say that failure to comply may result in a citation and notice to appear in County Court.

Residents can report violations of the health order by filling out a form on the Sedgwick County website.

Residents are asked to please not call 911 to report businesses for health order violations.

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