Local businesses react to KDHE risk levels for activities

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released a chart that explains the risk level of ordinary activities. It ranges from low to high risk for contracting coronavirus.

On the low end it includes staying at home, but also shows that visiting a park or going camping are safer than most activities.

In Topeka, Einstein’s Outdoor Outfitters is seeing more people wanting to get outside.

“I would say there’s more interest this summer, people looking for tents, primarily because of again, lack of long term travel, lack of flying, lack of long distance travels, myself included,” said Alan Wisman, co-owner of Einstein’s. “I have family in Colorado, well we’re not going to Colorado, we’re probably just going to stay around here.”

Einstein’s sells tents, sleeping bags and all the supplies you might need to go camping.

“It offers a relatively inexpensive vacation, it offers family time, it offers getting out of doors,” Wisman said. “A lot of young people have been inside for months and months.”

The high end of risk levels includes air travel, large gatherings, and going to a bar.

The Bar ‘N Grill in Topeka has taken a hit during the pandemic with having to close at one point, and now having limited hours and capacity.

“It’s just been not business as usual, there’s a lot of different things that we’ve changed as far as sanitation and making sure that customers feel comfortable and safe, but business is slower than normal for sure,” general manager Kim Foster said.

Some believe bars have seen too harsh of restrictions put on them during the outbreak. Foster said establishments like the Bar ‘N Grill can be a safe place to visit.

“We’re definitely taking precautions to make sure people are socially distancing, but it’s not any less safe than going to a regular restaurant, people usually stick to the people they come in with and so they’re not intermingling and getting in people’s space and all that,” Foster said.

KDHE shared the graph on its social media page with a link to CDC guidelines on what to know before you go out. You can find those here.

KDHE said the risk levels are subjective and it depends on what precautions places are implementing.

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