New health order lifts gathering size restrictions, eases other restrictions

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(Illustration by Abigail Compton | Collegian Media Group)

The Riley County Commissioners lifted the restriction on gatherings of over 2,000 people in a 3-0 vote while sitting as the Board of Health.

The lessened restriction is part of Local Health Order No. 18, which also allows bars and restaurants to serve patrons seated at bars, provided that patrons maintain six feet from others. The order takes effect Aug. 18.

“I hoped to leave the large venue restriction in place long enough to see the impact that in-person classes will have on the community,” local health officer Julie Gibbs said. “The BOH decided to remove the restriction immediately. We will continue to work to ensure the safety of all individuals, and plan to have very close communication with people who manage large venues.”

Managers of venues with more than 2,000 person capacity are expected to obtain event permits from the Riley County Health Department and submit to monitoring by the health department to ensure safety guidelines are followed.

Gibbs said if contact tracing shows an increase in COVID-19 cases resulting from mass gatherings, rules for large events may change again.

“We will continue to work to ensure the safety of all individuals, and plan to have very close communication with people who manage large venues,” Gibbs said.

More information and updates on Covid-19 in Riley County can be found at the Riley County Coronavirus web page.

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