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Douglas County Commissioners vote to extend mask mandate, social distancing

Bars in Lawrence
Posted at 10:06 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 23:06:34-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Douglas County Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to extend the county's mask mandate and social distancing requirements.

The updated order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday and remains in place until May 26, according to a news release from the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.

The order does remove the county's mass gathering limit of 50, but still requires a 50% capacity restriction on indoor businesses and most public venues, the news release states.

“As Douglas County has done well overall during the pandemic, our public health strategy going forward continues to rely on the efficacy of mask wearing and social distancing," Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge said in the news release. "We continue to ask our community members to do their part to keep the disease spread manageable and to protect those most vulnerable."

Partridge said that even with "a strong vaccination effort," the county must use "community mitigation" to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 40, which requires County Commissioners to approve health orders requiring face masks and limit gatherings.

The order still has a requirement that anyone over the age of 5 to wear face masks in all indoor public spaces except when eating, drinking, swimming or have a medical condition that prevents mask wearing, according to the news release.

Masks also are required outdoors when it's not possible to maintain 6 feet of social distance.

Businesses and venues can opt out of the occupancy restrictions, according to the release.

Those businesses and venues must give written notice to the health department and post a sign on their front door.

That includes restaurants and bars and other businesses that serve food and drinks indoors.

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