LDCPH updates local health order, reduces capacity

Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 3:37 PM CST
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) - Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health has updated its local health order to reduce capacity at venues and limit dining hours.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health says it due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the region, health officials have updated the local health order with hopes of mitigating the spread of the virus within the community.

LDCPH said the updated order will take effect on Friday, Nov. 2020. It said changes include the following:

  • Reduced gathering limit from 15 to 10 people
  • Indoor capacity limit of 100 people or 50% of the lowest occupancy load, whichever is lowest, in entertainment venues, recreational facilities, gyms, restaurants, bars and all other businesses serving food or drinks indoors, including public, private or membership only businesses.
  • Establishments and venues serving food and drinks must close the premises no later than 10 p.m., including outside seating areas and patios to customers.
  • Carryout, curbside, drive-through or off-premises delivery of food is allowed after 10 p.m., excluding alcoholic beverages.

According to LDCPH, the order still requires people older than 5 to wear masks in all indoor public spaces, except when eating, drinking, swimming or if they have a medical condition that prevents them from doing so, and outdoor spaces when social distancing is unable to be maintained.

“Our goal is to strike an appropriate balance in limiting high-risk environments right now in our community. 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,” said Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County’s Local Health Officer. “We are grateful for the businesses in our community that have made sacrifices and worked with us to operate safe environments.”

Marcellino said the most important changes in the update are that venues like gyms and fitness centers limit their capacity and continue to spread customers out, that are also required to wear masks, and for establishments to space out parties for indoor dining.

LDCPH said with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has also recommended that residents stay home and celebrate with people in their own households. It said Douglas Co. Unified Command leaders are also urging residents to limit their social gatherings in order to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“The safest way to celebrate the coming holidays is keeping it limited to your family unit, just those within your household,” said Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, infectious disease specialist at LMH Health and Deputy Local Health Officer. “We have to create new traditions, creative ways to celebrate in order to help keep our family members and community safer. The more people you come into contact with, the more likely it is that you could become infected or spread infection to a loved one.”

Those with questions about compliance should contact LDCPH by emailing

For more information on holiday travel guidance, click here.

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