Health order asks Lawrence residents to limit contact starting now


A healthcare worker tests a person for the new coronavirus inside a diagnostic tent in Mexico City, Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020. Mexico City announced yesterday that restaurants and bars will have to close earlier after the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 rose to levels not seen since August. (AP Photo/Ginnette Riquelme)

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KSNT) – Public health leaders in Douglass County have updated a local health order hoping to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The order takes effect Friday, Nov. 20, and includes efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus by:

  • Reducing the mass gathering limit from 15 people to 10 people. Mass gatherings are defined as instances in which individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals — not including individuals who live together.
  • An indoor capacity limit of 100 people, or 50 percent, of the lowest occupancy load – whichever is
    lower – in entertainment venues, recreational facilities, including gyms and fitness and recreation centers, and restaurants, bars and all other such businesses serving food and/or drink indoors, including public, private or membership-only businesses.
  • The venues and establishments serving food and drink must close their premises no later than
    10 p.m., including all outside seating areas and patios to customers.
  • Carryout, curbside, drive-through or off-premise delivery of food is allowed after 10 p.m., but not
    alcoholic beverages.

Masks are still required for people older than five years old, except when drinking, eating or swimming, or when a medical condition prohibits the use of a mask.

“Our goal is to strike an appropriate balance in limiting high-risk environments right now in our community,” said Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County’s Local Health Officer. “Over the course of the pandemic, we have learned more about the science of increased risk of exposure and planning to handle a surge of hospitalizations, but the more people follow the basic public health guidance of mask-wearing, social distancing and limiting gatherings, the better off our community will be during this critical time.”

Two of the key changes in the order include venues like fitness centers and gyms continue to spread out customers.

“The safest way to celebrate the coming holidays is keeping it limited to your family unit, just those within your household,” said Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, infectious disease specialist at LMH Health and Deputy Local Health Officer. “The more people you come into contact with, the more likely it is that you could become infected or spread the infection to loved ones.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories