Pottawatomie County phases out coronavirus restrictions


ST. MARYS, Kan. (KSNT) — For many businesses like Sugar Creek Country Store in St. Marys, the pandemic presented a lot of challenges and uncertainty.

“It’s been a learning experience for sure, something we never expected to happen,” said owner Dan Hohman.

But, they were able to stay afloat and now that Pottawatomie county has lifted all restrictions, they’ve already seen a big increase in foot traffic this week.

However, it’s a step that local health officials didn’t think the county was quite ready for.

“Our health officer and medical directives recommended that we stay with our mass gathering limit of 100,” said Pottawatomie County Public Information Officer Crystal Malchose. “Our concern with that and the ultimate decision by the commissioners was it’s difficult to maintain. We’re not exactly going to send our sheriff’s office to count the number of people in a mass gathering. So, it was determined that it would be a better idea to educate our citizens on best practices, guidelines, etc. so they can make the right choices themselves. “

But, with neighboring counties seeing an increase in coronavirus cases, county officials say the safety measures that were being taken before shouldn’t be totally abandoned.

“Weigh your options,” said Malchose. “Remember that the choices you make today could affect your health, a loved one’s health a couple weeks, a couple months from now.”

While the Sugar Creek staff is happy to be back to normal, they’re not letting their guard down just yet.

“We’re ready for anything,” said Hohman. “We’re listening to our health officials and the county officials that are keeping us updated daily.”

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