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Posted on: June 22, 2020

FAQs for Reopening Phase 3

DgCo Phase 3_updated

Gov. Laura Kelly has presented her detailed framework for a phased-in approach to begin reopening the state. Currently, Douglas County has aligned with the Governor’s plan, which is currently in Phase 3. And Local Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino has extended Phase 3 until further notice. Due to an increase in cases and outbreaks stemming from bar environments in Douglas County, Marcellino also has ordered bars closed beginning July 3 until further notice.

Anyone with questions about a public health order can email phorders@ldchealth.org or review these guidelines for restaurants , parks and recreation facilities and libraries.

Here are some other FAQs and our guidance for "Smart and Safe: Reopening Douglas County"

What phase are we in? How long will it last?

  • Phase 3 began on June 8. Due to the increase in recent cases, we have remained in Phase 3 until further notice. Bars in Douglas County are ordered closed as of July 3. Local decisions about moving beyond Phase 3 to the scheduled Phase Out will depend on measures of local and statewide rates of transmission, hospitalizations and public health system capacity. Please visit LDCHealth.org/coronavirus and douglascountyks.org/coronavirus for information about the current phase and guidelines.

    Can I gather in large groups now that the stay-at-home order is lifted?
  • Each phase has a limit on how many people can gather in one space at a time. For Phase 3, Mass gatherings of 45 or more people are prohibited. Mass gatherings are defined as instances in which individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

    • Guidance for individuals
        *   Outdoor activities: When in public (e.g., parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), individuals (not including individuals who reside together) should maintain 6 feet of distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moment of closer proximity.
        *   Social gatherings: Avoid socializing in person with groups of more than 45 individuals in both indoor and outdoor settings, especially in circumstances that do not allow for a physical distance of 6 feet or more between individuals or groups with only infrequent or incidental moments or closer proximity (e.g., receptions, trade shows).

What businesses are still closed in Phase 3?

  • All businesses, activities and venues, including swimming pools, may open (except bars and nightclubs) if they can maintain at least six feet of social distance between individuals or groups, follow fundamental cleaning and public health practices, and avoid instances in which the mass gathering limit is exceeded and individuals are unable to maintain 6 feet of distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity. A July 3 health order has ordered bars in Douglas County to close until further notice, due to a recent increase in cases and exposures tied to bar environments.

Are restaurants able to reopen for dine-in business?

  • Restaurants were able to reopen for dine-in business, with some restrictions, beginning Monday, May 18. Please see the guidance for more details.

What is required for an establishment to function as a restaurant?

  • If an establishment has a food service license from the Kansas Department of Agriculture, it can operate as a restaurant. These guidelines include:
    •  no one seated at the bar;
    •  no dance floor 
    • no other functions that don’t allow for proper social distancing between parties.

      Guidelines for operating as a restaurant are available at LDCHealth.org. The current mask order for Douglas County also requires individuals to wear masks or face coverings when inside any public space – including their workplace – or in situations where social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained.

Is self-serve food and beverage allowed?

  • Self-serve food and drinks are allowed, however, we recommend keeping them closed as long as feasible or having a staff member serve customers instead of customers serving themselves.

Are farm wineries allowed to open for on-premises consumption?

  • Beginning on Monday May 18, farm wineries may open for operations with the following recommendations:
    • Adhere to the social distancing guidelines of 6 feet of distance between parties, and the mass gathering limit (no more than 45 people in an indoor space, and groups of no more than 45). It is also recommended that all tastings occur outdoors. Businesses should post signage notifying the public of the rules. See additional recommendations and best practices outlined for restaurants.

When will pools reopen?

Pools are allowed to open beginning in Phase 3, with restrictions on how many people can be in the space at one time that are in accordance with the mass gathering restrictions of each phase, as well as measures to encourage social distancing

What type of mask should I wear? What if I need a mask but don’t have one?      

For the general public, a cloth face covering is recommended in all businesses and public places. Please see CDC guidance on making and wearing a cloth mask. Please reserve medical-grade surgical masks and N95 masks for healthcare workers. Anyone who needs a mask can request one from the United Way at http://rhvc.galaxydigital.com/cloth-masks/

Should I plan a large event for this summer?

The limit and the phase that we are in will depend on local and statewide rates of transmission, hospitalizations, and public health system capacity. It is wise to assume that it will be difficult to plan large events with certainty through the summer months. 

If I live in one county and work in another, which guidance should I follow?

Because local health orders are designed based on the current level of exposure of COVID-19 in a county, in general, you should follow the guidance from your home county. For example, if there is a stay-at-home order in your home county, but not the county where you work, you should continue to follow the stay-at-home order. However, if your place of work is open and your home county’s rules allow you to go to work, your place of work may be subject to local rules and guidelines, which you should follow while working there.

Are dental offices allowed to open for non-emergency procedures?

Dental offices may open, as long as they have sufficient PPE to safely perform procedures and ensure protection for themselves and their patients. Dental offices may choose to offer emergency services only if they feel that is the most appropriate course of action.

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