Health department orders O’Malley’s to close due to multiple ordinance violations

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Patrons at O'Malley's on Aug. 15 can be seen without masks. (Photo courtesy of Mayor Usha Reddi)

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to include more clarifying information.

The Riley County Health Department ordered O’Malley’s Alley to close. O’Malley’s received the order due to violations of Local Health Order 18 and the Manhattan mask ordinance.

Local health officer Julie Gibbs possesses the authority to prohibit public gatherings and shut down businesses in violation of health orders.

“Order No. 18 was written strategically to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The intent was to keep businesses open and allow activity to happen as long as it is done in a safe manner,” Gibbs said in a press release. “I have seen many bars and restaurants implement modifications to be able to do this and comply with Order 18. Many have reached out to the health department to get information or to ask us to review their plans.”

Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi previously posted photos on her Facebook page showing patrons at O’Malley’s without masks and standing less than six feet apart.

This is the first business to receive an order to close.

“I feel that in most cases we are working together as one to make Riley County a safer place. We want people to feel safe while they are out and to reduce risk as much as possible in all areas,” Gibbs said. “Thanks to the businesses who are working toward this goal. I recognize the strain this has put on everyone, and that people and businesses are suffering. The more we can work together to get through this, the quicker we can get back to normal.”

Currently, Manhattan has 185 active cases of COVID-19. The Phi Delta Theta fraternity was announced as an outbreak on Aug. 18.

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My name is Bailey Britton and I am the editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.