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

Where can I find a copy of the Resolution amending an Order of the Local Health Officer?

The amended resolution can be found here.

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

12:01 a.m. Friday, July 24 through Friday, August 21, at 11:59 p.m., except that the curfew relating to businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption shall go into effect on Saturday, July 25, at 2:00 A.M. It will be revisited weekly.

What social distancing requirements and limitations exist for public gatherings?

Individuals not commonly known to one another must generally maintain 6 feet of distance.

While individuals commonly known to one another are encouraged to maintain 6 feet of distance whenever possible, individuals who are commonly known to one another may be located within 6 feet of one another in groups of not more than 15 people.

This does not limit an event to a cap of 15 people.  Instead, groups of 15 or less individuals known to one another must be located at least 6 feet in all directions from other groups of 15 or less individuals known to one another.  In essence, each group would have a “bubble” of 6 feet in all directions between their group and another group.

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

Are religious institutions exempt from the public gatherings limitations?

Yes. Rather than being required to comply with public gatherings limitations, religious institutions are encouraged to maintain social distancing as much as is feasible.

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

Yes, subject to the exemptions included in the order.

Can I still hold a wedding/funeral/graduation/birthday party? Do I have to wear a mask at these events?

Yes, subject to the public gatherings limitations in the order.  If the wedding or funeral is a religious activity, it would be exempt from the public gatherings limitations in the order.

What types of sport or athletic activities are allowed? Do participants need to wear a mask?

All sports and athletic activities are allowed.  Whether athletics participants need to wear a mask depends upon the activity.  If athletes can maintain a 6-foot distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity, they would not be required to wear a mask.  If athletes would generally not be able to maintain a 6-foot distance from others, they would be required to wear a mask.

Do I have to wear a mask on Election Day (August 4, 2020)?

Yes, while in public as any other day.  However, voters will not be turned away from the polls because of not wearing a mask.

Are bars and nightclubs closed to the public?

Yes. Curbside and carryout services are allowed.

Do restaurants have to close to the public?

No. Restaurants and dining establishments must either maintain at least 6 feet of distance between groups of customers or else use physical barriers sufficient to prevent virus spread between seated customers or groups of seated customers. Businesses that are not bars and night clubs that are licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption must abide by a curfew and close by 12:00 A.M.

Do private clubs have to close?

No. Private clubs are only open to members, not the general public. These establishments must either maintain at least 6 feet of distance between groups of customers or else use physical barriers sufficient to prevent virus spread between seated customers or groups of seated customers.

Do swimming pools have to close to the public?

No, swimming pools are allowed to be open.

Are fairs, festivals, and parades allowed?

No. Fairs, festivals, and parades are not allowed in the Phase 2 of Ad Astra Plan which was adopted in the order.

Does the mall have to close to the public?

No. Businesses are required to ensure that their patrons comply with the order.

Do gyms have to close to the public?

No. Guests should maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. 

Do bowling alleys have to close to the public?

No. Guests should maintain at least 6 feet of distance between groups of customers.

Can a venue that holds more than 2,000 remain open and hold events?

Outdoor and indoor entertainment venues shall be permitted to operate as long as they comply with mass gatherings requirements (15 or less individuals known to one another, with the possibility of multiple mass gatherings within a single venue as long as such groups of individuals maintain at least 6 feet of social distance from one another) and the total number of attendees for the venue does not exceed 2,000 people.

What are the consequences for not following the Order?

There would not be any jail, criminal charges, fines, or civil penalties as a result of violating the order, as such penalties are not permissible under Kansas law for this type of order.  However, any cities which may have adopted ordinances under their Kansas Constitution home rule powers that are similar in scope to this order may seek to enforce such ordinances.  Any such enforcement efforts by cities are unaffected by this order.

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.