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The original item was published from 3/25/2020 2:09:00 PM to 3/27/2020 2:07:11 PM.

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Posted on: March 22, 2020

[ARCHIVED] FAQ: Douglas County "Stay at Home" Order

Coronavirus

UPDATES: See our Message and Guidance to Business on the Order, in addition to the FAQ below.

Kansas Governor’s Executive Order identifies framework for exemptions on local Stay-at-Home Orders

Douglas County Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino has issued a “Stay at Home” order as the Douglas County community continues with efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and healthcare facilities will remain open, as residents are ordered to remain home except for essential needs. You can view the full order, but here are some FAQs as a quicker guide:

What can I do? What is open?

These essential services will remain open:          

  • City/County government services - police stations, fire stations, hospitals/clinics and healthcare operations, jails, courts, garbage/sanitation, utilities (though some buildings may limit access to the public.)
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies 
  • Food: Grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants 
  • Hardware stores/plumbers/electricians and those who provide services necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Banks
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Laundromats/laundry services
  • Cemeteries

What is closed?

  • Dine-in restaurants (take-out, drive-through and delivery are permitted)
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios, barber shops, salons and tattoo parlors

Can I go outside, take a walk or a run, walk my dog, spend time in a park or on a trail? Can I visit a grandchild, check on an elderly parent or neighbor, handle my custody arrangements with my children per normal?

Yes.

All of those activities are allowed under Douglas County’s order if you follow the CDC guidance of social distancing. Use of parks and other public areas are permitted. However, use of playground equipment is discouraged.

How will the stay at home order be enforced?

Douglas County’s Unified Command System is working with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office; however, agencies are strongly encouraging voluntary compliance with the stay at home order.

Can I have friends over for dinner or have my child participate in a play date?

No. 

What other types of businesses or services are not essential?
This would include going to bars or nightclubs, going to a nail salon or getting your haircut by a stylist or barber or shopping for non-essential goods.

Is curbside pickup allowed for retailers to fulfill online or phone orders?
Curbside pick up is the only option for “non-essential” business, but we would urge people to stay home and exhaust delivery options for items first. We are going with what surrounding counties are doing and allow this practice as long as all other appropriate social-distancing practices and protocols are in place.


How does the order apply to religious organizations or places of worship?

Public gatherings of 10 or more are prohibited. Most places of worship have enacted virtual services for the duration of the order.

How does it affect car dealerships?

Repair and body shop portions are deemed essential to make repairs for transportation for essential services and workers, but showroom floors of dealerships are not considered essential and should be closed to the public.

Are agricultural jobs considered essential right now?

Agriculture is considered essential, and workers should practice proper social-distancing methods. As with other industries, not all jobs under agriculture would be considered essential as it is important to have a service department open to repair farming equipment but not as essential to maintain a sales floor to sell new equipment.

As an essential worker, do I need an official letter or badge showing that I am allowed to go to work or be outside my home?

No.

Badges and letters are not needed. It’s not our intent at this time for people to be cited by law enforcement as they move around the county. We want to assume people’s good intention that they will follow the order and will be out of their homes for permitted reasons. We do encourage people to stay at home unless they need to perform an essential service or have a job with an essential service or business that cannot be done from home. We encourage everyone who can to work from home and encourage businesses to allow for that as much as possible.

Can I operate, work at or frequent a specific business, company or service during this stay at home order?

We would refer you to Douglas County’s Stay at Home order to see all of the services and activities that are deemed “essential.” If you see it there,  it is exempt from the order these activities are allowed. We ask that you keep in mind that we want the public to stay at home unless they need an essential service performed or work at a place that performs essential services, and their work cannot be done from home.

Will grocery stores and liquor stores remain open?

 Yes, as long as people do not congregate and stores adhere to the CDC’s guidance on social distancing. 

Can I go buy pet food or take my pet to the vet?
Yes


I receive mental health treatment, can I still go to their office?
Yes, but perform good hygiene practices and social distancing.


How does this affect the schools and universities? Will my student still be able to retrieve their items from the school?

Educational institutions — K-12 schools, colleges, and universities — will be allowed to continue operating in order to support the objective of distance learning and to support essential functions and schools may follow previously plans for students to retrieve items as long as they abide by the six foot social distancing guidelines from the CDC.

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