Latest local health order to tighten rules on bars, extend some existing limitations

(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

The Riley County Health Department released a new local health order that will take effect Thursday and will last indefinitely.

The new local order continues some of the existing policies established by the previous order, including gathering size limitations, but institutes some more strict guidance for restaurants and bars.

Local Health Order No. 16 requires:

Specific rules for bars and restaurants include:

  • Employee screenings at the start of each shift
  • Maintenance of an employee screening log
  • Closure of all standing room only areas and all dance floors
  • Closing to the public at midnight
  • Six feet of distance between seated parties

“Business requirements focus on bars and restaurants because those establishments are high-risk and are still a source of virus spread in the community,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said in a press release. “We want to give them the opportunity to continue providing service in a way that also protects public health.”

On Tuesday, the county added two new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the local total to 428. Recovered cases now surpass active cases with 314 recoveries and 110 current cases.

Businesses with questions about best practices should call the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce at 785-776-8829 or email Additional resources for reopening local businesses are available at

Individuals with symptoms are encouraged to call the screening line at 785-323-6400. The screening line is available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. People with non-emergent questions about COVID-19 in Riley County should send an email to

To be tested in Riley County, individuals must present at least two symptoms of COVID-19. The complete list of known symptoms is available on the health department website.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.