Douglas Co. amends COVID-19 bar order

Published: Oct. 1, 2020 at 3:05 PM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Bars and restaurants in Douglas County are now able to stay open longer.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health says after monitoring the level of COVID-19 cases in the community since Sept. 4, and leaders have now agreed to extend hours in which establishments with liquor licenses can serve alcohol.

LDCPH said the updated health order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, and mandates that all restaurants, bars and entertainment venues with a liquor license to stop serving alcohol at 11 p.m. and close their premises no later than midnight, which includes all outside seating areas or patios to customers. It said the previous order required establishments to stop selling alcohol at 9 p.m. and close their establishments at 10 p.m.

“We believe we have seen good results in our work with local restaurants, bars and entertainment venues in offering them guidance and support on how to comply with the health orders and offer safe environments through social distancing and mask-wearing,” Director Dan Partridge said. “We appreciate the work of the Lawrence Restaurant Association members and establishment owners for their efforts and continuing dialogue on how to create environments that can help minimize risk for COVID-19 exposure and to help businesses.”

“The health of Douglas County is our top priority, and we appreciate being involved in the discussions so that we can collaborate on productive measures for safe socialization in our establishments,” said Emily Peterson, an officer of the Lawrence Restaurant Association.

According to LDCPH, the public health order is the most recent in a series initiated beginning in early July in response to a large number of cases stemming from bar environments. It said establishments can still offer carryout or delivery of food only after the requirement to close premises by midnight.

LDCPH said the order keeps other major public health requirements in place including not allowing mass gatherings of over 45 people and the face mask requirement.

The full order can be read here.

LDCPH said businesses can request a visit from staff to offer advice in person and answer questions on compliance, policies and guidance. It said guidance is also available here.

Residents with questions or concerns on compliance with a health order can email

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