Sedgwick County’s local health officer has issued a new health order to replace the one that will expire in a few days.   It will continue the current restrictions with no substantial changes.

Dr. Minns talked about the health order during Wednesday’s meeting of the Sedgwick County Commission.  He said the order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. January 10th and continue through 11:59 p.m. February 6th.

The order will continue to limit restaurants to in-person dining between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.   After 11 p.m., restaurants can continue curbside, drive-through, and delivery services but not carry-out.  Bars and nightclubs will have to close in-person dining and drinking areas at 11 p.m. and they can continue curbside, drive-through and delivery after 11 p.m.

The new order continues limits of 25 people for mass gatherings and it requires people to wear masks and follow social distancing.   Businesses will be limited to 100 people or 50 percent of fire code capacity.   Restaurants, bars and nightclubs are not considered mass gatherings but they have to follow the capacity limits.   Tables may not have more than eight people seated together.   Fitness centers and retails stores will have to continue following the provisions in the current order.

Dr. Minns said over 7,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been distributed in Sedgwick County.  He voiced concern that long-term care facilities and nursing homes are not getting the vaccine yet and he noted that the distribution of the vaccine is a huge logistical issue.   He said vaccination will be a marathon and not a sprint, and it will not affect the county’s case rate for several weeks or several months.    People who get the vaccine should continue to wear masks.    Dr. Minns said he has received the vaccine with mild effects and he is not aware of any serious side effects in the community.

Dr. Minns said the positive testing rate dropped in December, and it’s around 12.5 percent, but it shows the virus is still in the community.   He said it will continue to be important for people to wear masks and follow social distancing.  He said most people in Sedgwick County have been following the order and they are trying their best to be part of the solution to the pandemic.