Shawnee County bars can reopen Monday; county-owned pools to reopen June 22


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County announced it will allow bars, nightclubs and summer camps to reopen Monday, public pools to reopen on their planned June start date and gathering sizes to increase as the area moves into a new pandemic recovery phase next week.

Starting Monday, bars, nightclubs and summer camps can reopen at 50% capacity while respecting the new gathering size limit of 45 people, Shawnee County officials announced in a Thursday meeting. Workers in contact with the public must wear masks, and bartenders can provide service at the counter.

Officials also said they will move from phase two of reopening Shawnee County to phase three Monday, and increase the area’s gathering size limit to 45. The move comes after Shawnee County decided to wait longer to continue the reopening process during a Tuesday health board meeting.

Effective Thursday, public and privately operated pools can reopen when they are ready as the county recovers during the coronavirus pandemic. County health officials decided that pools can start operations at 50% capacity, and all workers in contact with the public must wear masks.

However, public pools operated by Shawnee County Parks and Recreation will hold onto their planned reopening date of June 22, according to a Shawnee County Parks and Recreation spokesperson.

“The pandemic, including the stay at home order and then the phased in reopening, delayed our normal hiring process for seasonal employees,” said Communications and Public Information Supervisor Mike McLaughlin. “We need enough lifeguards, concession workers and site supervisors to be able to open all of our pools.”

Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, the county’s Health Officer, said it was time to open pools for the community.

“I do realize that it’s hot now this week, it is hot. And weekend is coming up and young people love to go to the swimming pool and that keeps them entertained,” Dr. Pezzino said.

Parks & Rec said splash pads at Dornwood Park and Jackson park will open June 8.

As of Thursday, Kanas has seen a total of 10,128 coronavirus cases and 227 deaths statewide.

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