MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – The Riley County Board of County Commissioners voted Monday to remove the restriction for large gatherings and allow venues of more than 2,000 people to reopen.

“I hoped to keep the large venue restriction in place long enough to see the impact that in-person classes will have on the community,” Local Health Officer Julie Gibbs said. “The BOH decided to remove the restriction immediately. We will continue to work to ensure the safety of all individuals, and plan to have very close communication with people who manage large venues.”

Venues have to get an event permit through the Riley County Health Department. You can find that here.

Local Health Order No. 18 also includes additional changes and clarification of some definitions. RCHD said the terms “public gatherings,” “mass gathering,” or “event” are defined as any planned or spontaneous, public or private event or convening, in which individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between people.

According to RCD, the additional changes include:

  • The order strongly recommends that all employers screen employees for symptoms and travel before each shift. Previous orders mentioned bars and restaurants only, but the recommendation applies to all employers.
  • Patrons at bars and restaurants can now sit and be served at bars and counters as long as they are 6 ft from other parties. The intention is for patrons to be seated, maintain distance, and remain in their seats, not for walk-up service.

The following requirements from Local Health Order 17 will remain in place:

  •  All service at bars  and all dine-in service _at restaurants shall end at midnight and customers shall clear the premises in such bars and restaurants by 12:30 A.M.
  • Drive-through, delivery, and curbside service at restaurants may continue past midnight.
  • All restaurants and bars are limited to seated areas only. This includes patios.
  • Service or consumption of food or drinks while standing at a counter/bar or in standing-only areas is prohibited.
  • Consumption of food and beverages shall only take place at a counter or table via seated service.
  • Dance floors (including but not limited to temporary spaces obtained by removing tables or other objects for the purpose to allow people to dance) shall be closed.
  • All seated parties must be placed at least 6 feet apart from other seated parties (between tables and/or booths), or when that is not feasible a barrier such as plexiglass or other partition shall divide booths or tables closer than 6 feet.