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.