Douglas County sets new restrictions for gyms, restaurants

Posted at 1:35 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 14:35:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — New restrictions in Douglas County that took effect Friday further limit gatherings and require restaurants, gyms and other businesses to limit their capacity.

The updated local health order from the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Department sets an indoor capacity limit of 100 people or 50% of the lowest occupancy load, whichever is lower, for entertainment venues, gyms and other recreational facilities, and bars and restaurants.

Those businesses that serve food and drink also must close by 10 p.m., including outside and patio seating areas.

Carryout, drive-through, curbside and off-premise delivery of food will be allowed after 10 p.m., excluding alcohol.

The updated order also limits mass gatherings from 15 people to 10 people.

Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County local health officer, said in a news release that notable changes include the limited capacity at gyms and fitness facilities and the requirement to space out parties at restaurants.

“Our goal is to strike an appropriate balance in limiting high-risk environments right now in our community,” Marcellino said in the release. “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.”

A mask order remains in effect requiring anyone over the age of five to wear face coverings indoors and in outdoor public spaces where 6 feet of social distancing cannot be maintained.

Douglas County leaders also urged residents to consider staying home and limiting gatherings over the Thanksgiving holiday next week.