The Saline County Commission, by a 4 – 0 vote, in a special meeting Friday afternoon approved a new health order from Saline County Health Officer Jason Tiller which implements additional restrictions to combat COVID-19.
Saline County Administrator Phillip Smith-Hanes explained the purpose of the meeting was not about masks, or about schools, nor was was it an attempt to shut down businesses. He said rather it was a discussion of a health order which would keep as many businesses open as possible, while at the same time being prudent to keep the community safe.
New restrictions include limiting indoor gatherings to no more than 15 in an indoor space with several exceptions. Retail businesses can stay open, with restrictions including capacity limits. Bars and restaurants can remain open with some restrictions, doing business between 5AM and midnight. Gyms, health clubs, and physical fitness type businesses can also remain open, with some restrictions. Auditoriums and theaters can also remain open, with some restrictions. Churches can also remain open, with some restrictions.
All businesses are expected to enforce masking, and social distancing.
Tiller said he had hoped to avoid a health order like this, but the recent spread of COVID across our county and its impact on the hospital make it necessary.
Commission Chairman Bob Vidricksen said the order can be changed at anytime.
Commissioners made two changes to the proposed health order before approving it. Bars and restaurants can stay open until midnight instead of 11 PM, and funeral homes will have the same exemptions churches do.
There are currently 514 COVID-19 cases active in Saline County, and 31 people in the hospital.
Enforcement of the new ordinance would be by law enforcement officers.
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