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When could bar owners and restaurants see further loosened restrictions?

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Your favorite restaurant or bar in Sedgwick County could soon stay open later.

Leaders say a health order change could come in a matter of days that may allow extended hours.

One county commissioner told KSN News it could happen as soon as October 21.

Some bar owners believe that could mean thousands more per weekend, but another commissioner and the chief health officer say there is still much to consider.

“Right now, the bars and restaurants need to close at midnight, but I think there is some consideration being given to taking a look at a later closing time for those organizations,” said Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis.

That decision could be made by Sedgwick County Chief Health Officer Garold Minns at any moment.

“I think anything is a possibility,” said Minns. “I think that all of us are going to have to contemplate, we would hope by being a little bit more flexible and that the numbers would be at least stable but there is a possibility that they could get worse.”

While many owners say one hour would mean thousands of dollars, the health officer is still monitoring the cases and hospitalizations.

“If you asked me two weeks ago, I would have said I was a little bit more optimistic, but the numbers last week really jumped up in the hospital. I mean it was a significant increase, not just a little gradual increase. The hospital saw a lot more cases,” said Minns.

Commissioner David Dennis adds that he has not liked the recent trend in cases.

“The report that we got is not a good report,” said Dennis. “People are dying every day,”

But is hoping Dr. Minns puts something out soon so that they can review before making a decision.

“I am hoping that Dr. Minns puts out an order this week to give us a chance to look at it before it becomes effective if he does decide to extend the order,” said Dennis.

The mask order is set to expire on October 21. Dr. Minns has not definitively said if it will be extended but does believe it is one of the fundamental resources the county has to keep case county low.

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