Emergency Public Health Order FAQ

Where can I find a copy of the Emergency Public Health Order?

The Emergency Public Health Order can be found here. 

When does the Order go into effect and when does it expire?

This order will be in effect from 12:01 a.m., March 21 through 11:59 p.m., April 30. 

What social distancing requirements and limitations exist for public gatherings?

There are no specific gathering limitations, however people must still be masked and maintain 6 feet of social distancing, subject to exceptions stated within the order.

Do I have to wear a mask in a religious institution?

Yes, subject to the exemptions included in the order.

Do I have to wear a mask when speaking to an audience?

Certain exemptions apply to individuals who are actively speaking to an audience at a religious institution, wedding, funeral, or an open public meeting, do not have to wear a mask as long as there is at least six feet of social distancing or separation by a physical barrier. Masks are still encouraged however. 

 Can I wear a face mask with a vent or a valve?

No. Masks or other face coverings that have valves or vents that allow air to be exhaled do not fit with the definition of “mask or other face covering” under this order. Face shields are still allowed under the order.

Are children who are five years of age or younger exempt from wearing a mask or face covering?

Yes, they are exempt pursuant to the terms of the order. However, schools and other organizations may establish their own rules regarding the wearing of masks or face coverings within their facilities that may be more restrictive than the order.

Are children who are in kindergarten exempt from wearing a mask or face covering?

This is up to the discretion of the school.

How do I report a business or person who is not following the Order?

Residents who have concerns about compliance are asked to submit a report via the online portal at www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/violations. Please do not call the 911 emergency system.

What are the consequences for not following the Order?

On and after November 18, 2020, within the unincorporated area of Sedgwick County and any cities that have consented to this Order applying within their city limits, violations of this order can be prosecuted pursuant to a resolution the Board of County Commissioners approved on November 10, 2020.  The maximum fine for any single violation would be a $500 fine and $20 court costs.

Businesses, other organizations, and individuals may forfeit immunity from COVID-19 claims they might otherwise be entitled to under Kansas law if they fail to substantially comply with the order.  This could also impact the insurance coverage for any such claims.  Businesses and other organizations are encouraged to consult with their own legal counsel for potential ramifications of noncompliance.

Does my business have to comply with this Order?

Yes. This order applies to individuals and businesses alike. Businesses are required to ensure that their patrons comply with the order. Some reasonable efforts for making sure residents comply with the order and wear masks are: signage, offering masks, having greeters, intercom messages, and directly addressing unmasked employees or customers.