Pottawatomie County Clarifies Closings and Restrictions


Pottawatomie County, Kan. (March 21, 2020) —   In an effort to clarify information on closings and restrictions, the Pottawatomie County Board of Health hereby directs and orders:

1. Effective immediately, all public or private mass gatherings, as defined below, are prohibited in Pottawatomie County, Kansas.

a.The phrase “mass gathering” as used in this order means any planned or spontaneous public or private event or convening that will bring together or is likely to bring together 10 or more people in a confined or enclosed space at the same time.

b.This prohibition includes, but is not limited to, mass gatherings at:  auditoriums, theaters, movie theaters, museums, stadiums, arenas, conference rooms, meeting halls, exhibition centers, taverns, health and fitness centers, recreation centers, and licensed pools.

2. The following activities or facilities are exempt from prohibitions of this order:

a. Religious gatherings, as long as attendees engage in appropriate social distancing;

b. Airports;

c. Funeral or memorial services or ceremonies;

d. Public, private, or charter schools for non-instructional purposes – such as medication pick-up, childcare services, providing meals – and when operating as polling places;

e. Childcare locations (including those that operate within a facility that is otherwise subject to the prohibitions of this order), provided:

1. The childcare operation is licensed and lawfully operated under Kansas State statutes, all Riley County Health Department (who oversees childcare centers in the region) standards, and KDHE standards.

2. Every child must be screened upon entry and again prior to leaving. The temperature check cannot be taken within four (4) hours after a fever reducing medication was given. 

3. The childcare facility must present, upon request of the Local Health Officer, the completed screening form for each child in its facility. Failure to comply will result in the revocation of the childcare facility’s license.

4. This licensed childcare facility exemption will not go into effect until Monday, March 23, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

f. Hotels and motels, as long as room service is used for food ordering and consumption;

g. Law enforcement, jail, or correctional facilities;

h. Military and National Guard facilities;

i. Any facility being used as part of a government or community response to a natural disaster;

j. Food pantries utilizing curb side service;

k. Shelter facilities;

l. Apartment of other multi-family residential buildings;

m. Shopping malls and other retail establishments;

n. Hospitals, medical facilities, and pharmacies;

o. Long-term care and assisted living facilities, as long as the facility follows all current Department of Health Services Recommendations for Prevention of COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities and Assisted Living Facilities per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

p. Libraries;

q. Senior Centers, but only for the curb-side pick-up or delivery of meals;

r. Restaurants, provided they offer food through drive-thru, curbside pick-up, or delivery (no dine-in or lobby access to customers);

s. Retail food establishments (grocery stores, convenience stores, farmer’s markets) as long as social distancing is maintained;

t. Office spaces and government service centers;

u. Manufacturing, processing, distribution, and production facilities;

v. Public transportation;

w. Utility facilities;

x. Job centers;

y. Facilities operated by the Kansas Court Systems.

These restrictions shall become effective immediately and will remain in force until rescinded or revised.

The Pottawatomie County Board of Health strongly advises everyone to stay home if you are sick, or experiencing symptoms.  We encourage everyone to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and local public health officials and private medical providers.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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