Oct 13, 2020 5:25 PM

Order will limit mass gatherings to 100 or less with many exceptions

Posted Oct 13, 2020 5:25 PM

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Interim Health Officer Karen Hammersmith announced Tuesday that she would be putting through a health order to limit mass gatherings to 100 people, with an exception for businesses that employ more than 100 people and outdoor events where social distancing can be maintained.

Reno County commission chair Ron Sellers implored the community again to wear masks, wash hands and practice social distancing, as did Commissioner Ron Hirst.

"We're not going to arrest you for not masking," Sellers said. "Don't you just do some things for the good of others? Don't I have a community obligation to do the right thing to help others? That's what we heard from the superintendents is, help the kids stay in school. How hard is it to help to control the spread? I just think that we can do a little bit more and help this percentage that we've got reverse itself."

Below is the text of the Order...

HEALTH ORDER #20-03

[Pursuant to K.S.A. 65-119 and K.S.A. 65-202]

This Emergency Public Health Order is effective the 14th day of October, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus disease COVID 19 pandemic in Reno County, Kansas pursuant to the authority of K.S.A. 65-119 and K.S.A. 65-202 and other applicable laws and regulations.

WHEREAS, the local Health Officer is authorized and required, pursuant to K.S.A. 65-119 and K.S.A. 65-202 to immediately exercise and maintain supervision over known or suspected cases of any infectious or contagious disease during its continuance, and to issue orders seeing that all such cases are properly handled and that the provisions of the Kansas public health laws as to isolation, quarantine and disinfection are duly enforced; and

WHEREAS, the local Health Officer is appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and is authorized to prohibit public gatherings when necessary for the control of any and all infectious diseases, pursuant to K.S.A 65-119; and

WHEREAS, on May 26, 2020, the Governor of the State of Kansas declared a STATE OF DISASTER PROCLAMATION in order “to protect Kansas from the economic consequences of COVID-19 and the imminent threat of future outbreaks” and issued Executive Order 20-52 on

July 2, 2020, a statewide Order pertaining to the wearing of masks or other face coverings, which Proclamation and Order have been extended and remain in effect; and

WHEREAS, as of October 12, 2020 there have occurred in Reno County seven (7) confirmed deaths from COVID-19, 1446 positive cases, 321 current active positive cases, 58 total COVID-19 admissions to Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and 29 total admissions to its Intensive Care Unit; and

WHEREAS, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Reno County Local Health Officer, all recommend implementation of community mitigation strategies to increase containment of the virus, including restricting large gatherings and social distancing in smaller gatherings; and

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDERED by the Interim Local Health Officer, pursuant to the above authorities, that:

1. Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 14th, 2020 all public or private mass gatherings as defined below, are prohibited within the border of Reno County.

a. The phrase “mass gathering” as used in this order means any planned or spontaneous, indoor and outdoor, public or private event or convening that will bring together or is likely to bring together 100 or more people in a confined or enclosed space at the same time.

b. This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, mass gatherings at auditoriums, theaters, movie theaters, museums, arenas, conference rooms, meeting halls, exhibition centers, taverns, health and fitness centers, recreation centers, and licensed pools.

2. The following activities or facilities are exempt from the prohibition of this order:

a. Operations of the United States Government;

i. Military and National Guard facilities

ii. Department of Corrections

iti. Law Enforcement

iv. Polling Places

b. Religious gatherings, as long as attendees engage in appropriate social distancing;

c. Public, private, or charter schools for instructional purposes;

d. Any facility being used as part of a government or community response to a natural disaster;

e. Public buildings where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within 6 ft. of one another for more than 10 minutes;

f. Public and private businesses that employ more than 100 people; provided, reasonable efforts must be made to social distance by 6 feet in work and break areas.

g. Hospitals and medical facilities;

i. Long Term Care facilities

ii. Assisted Living

h. Shopping malls and other retail establishments where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within 6 ft. of one another for more than 10 minutes;

i. Arenas where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within 6 ft. of one another for more than 10 minutes, and are able to maintain social distancing when seated by more than 6 ft. when not seated with their family units;

j. Outdoor stadiums where large numbers of people are present but are generally not within 6 feet of one another for more than 10 minutes and are able to social distance when seated by more than 6 ft. when not seated with their family units.

3. Businesses are encouraged to comply with the Governor’s mask and face covering mandate.

This Order shall become effective as of 12:01 A.M. on October 14, 2020 and shall remain in effect until amended or rescinded. This Order may be modified as circumstances dictate.