Shawnee Co. clarifies order on essential businesses: craft stores not included

Published: Mar. 27, 2020 at 10:24 PM CDT
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Craft stores are not essential businesses, and must temporarily close their doors in Shawnee Co.

Shawnee Co. emergency officials issued the clarification Friday night.

Shawnee Co. Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino's stay at home order was amended to include more specifics as to what constitutes an essential business that is allowed to remain open.

It now states exemptions apply to businesses that "supply office and internet services needed to individuals working from home who directly support government and local critical infrastructure." It also includes businesses which "support space or supplies necessary to perform mission essential functions for government and local critical infrastructure."

Shawnee County's "Safer at Home" order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday. It is scheduled to last for 30 days.

Earlier Friday, Dr. Pezzino and Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla held a news conference, urging people to follow the spirit of the order, and limit activities only to essential outings, like getting food or health, or caring for a loved one. Outdoor activities like walking, jogging, or biking are allowed, but only with maintaining social distance and not in groups.

If you have to ask whether it is essential, they said, it probably is not.