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Wichita City Council passes resolution that would allow health order enforcement

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council on Thursday passed a resolution and agreement with Sedgwick County that would allow enforcement of Sedgwick County’s latest health order due to COVID-19.

The motion passed 5-2 with council members James Clendenin and Jeff Blubaugh voting no.

Under the agreement, the city agrees to provide assistance for the prosecution of violations by assisting with reporting, investigating, and testifying as to any noncompliance of the order within the city’s corporate city limits. All fines and costs collected as a result of the prosecution of health order violations are to be retained by Sedgwick County. The city agrees that violations of the health are to be prosecuted in Sedgwick County Court. The city also agrees to hold the county harmless for any damages caused by Sedgwick County employees in the enforcement of the order.

The mayor talked about the resolution during his media briefing.

Details of the health order:

Mass gatherings will now be capped at 100 people or 50 percent of the fire code capacity, whichever is less, but individuals must be able to maintain the six-foot social distance requirement. Mass gatherings apply to restaurants, bars and night clubs, and fitness and health centers due to not wearing masks during those activities, close proximity of residents, and residents at these locations for a longer period of time.

Bars, night clubs, and other businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption can stay open until 11 p.m. These establishments are able to operate at with 100 patrons or 50 percent of the fire code capacity, whichever is less. These businesses may continue carryout and curbside services past midnight. Restaurants may seat parties of no more than eight people.

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.

Large venues (2,000 plus people) where 50 percent of the fire code capacity is still a large number and social distancing is possible must have approval from Dr. Minns to host events.

Religious institutions, election polling places, licensed child care facilities, schools and their activities, and courts are exempt from this order.

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