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At their special meeting this evening, the Platte County Health Board made the decision to amend the County’s Response, Reopening, and Recovery Order. The Amended Order still goes into effect on May 4th 2020. A complete list of types of businesses and a summary of restrictions will be posted to the Health Department’s website this weekend.
Significant changes to the Order include modified restrictions on mass gatherings. The new restrictions are now more consistent with Kansas City’s. Specifically, mass gatherings in indoor environments are now limited to 10 people or 10% of the facility’s authorized fire or building code occupancy limit, whichever is greater.
In outdoor environments, mass gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed as long as Physical Distancing Requirements are met. Mass gatherings to which these restrictions apply include faith-based and non-faith based gatherings. Some examples are school graduations, weddings, wakes, funerals, receptions, and worship services.
The Health Board lifted the requirement for businesses to collect names and contact information from everyone entering their building. New, softer language in the Order says, “When reasonably achievable, event organizers are encouraged to collect names and contact information of persons, including clients, entering a facility. The purpose of this request is to facilitate successful contact tracing of infectious persons.” A similar request is made of event organizers for the mass gatherings mentioned earlier.
In another change, the Order now uses the phrase “Physical Distancing Requirements” instead of “Social Distancing Requirements.” Appropriate use of face coverings was added to the requirements.
Dan Luebbert, Deputy Director of the Platte County Health Department, shared an answer to a question the Health Department has received many times about mass gatherings. “People want to know why events like indoor weddings have stricter limits on them than retail stores seem to have. The reason is that folks attending weddings spend a longer period of time in close proximity to one another”.
Luebbert added “When you head to the grocery store, you’re usually in and out and your moving throughout the store. You pass other people in the aisles, but you don’t generally stand next to them for 10 minutes or more. The longer you’re in close proximity to an infectious person, the greater your chances of catching the virus”.
The Health Department also announced that its Response and Recovery Plan will be revised so it’s consistent with the Amended Order. Also, updated guidance for businesses and organizations will be added to the Health Department’s website soon. In the meantime, Luebbert encourages businesses who need help developing reopening plans to check out the #SafeReturnKC guide.
To view the amended Platte County Order, visit the Health Department’s website and click on the Banner at the top of the page plattecountyhealthdept.com.