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Mass Gatherings and Mask Mandates Explained

Todd PittengerNovember 25, 2020

Actions have recently been taken by the governing bodies of Saline County and the City of Salina to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

According to Saline County, a Saline County Public Health Order limiting mass gatherings went into effect on Sunday, November 22nd. Both the City and County made changes to the mask mandate earlier this week that will go into effect this coming Saturday, November 28th.

The Public Health Order limits gatherings to 15 individuals or less in any indoor space. The order also limits the hours that a bar or restaurant can be open to the public. Bars and restaurants may not open to the public before 5:00 a.m. and must close by 12:00 midnight. There are certain types of establishments named in the order that have exceptions to the gathering limit, depending on the type of business. It is important to note that this order is not about shutting down businesses, it is about limiting large group gatherings. Several of the hundreds of cases that the Health Department has seen over the past few weeks are the result of gatherings, spreading COVID-19 further in our community. A list of common questions about the order as well as the order can be found on the county website www.saline.org/coronavirus.

The most recent amendments to the mask mandate for both the City of Salina and Saline County include the following changes:

  • The definition of “room” was added to define a room as a part or division of a building enclosed by full-height walls, floors, and ceiling.
  • Language was updated to read that if you are in a public space, regardless if you can distance yourself from others or not, you must wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
  • An additional exemption was added for persons who are in a room with no other persons present.
  • Saline County’s Mask Mandate Resolution can be found at www.saline.org/coronavirus
  • City of Salina’s Mask Ordinance can be found at http://salina.ks.us/featured/?FeedID=5801.

Both the Public Health Order and Mask Mandate can be legally enforced through issuances of citations by a law enforcement officer. The goal is to educate and encourage following both the mass gathering limitations and mask mandates, and not to issue citations.
To report active violations of mass gatherings, please call the non-emergency dispatch phone number 785-826-7210. For general complaints or general questions of either the mass gatherings or

mask mandates, please email [email protected]
We need everyone to follow the proven public health guidance to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please:
1. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water. Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
2. Maintain physical distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet or more.
3. Wear masks in public spaces as required by City Ordinance and County Resolution. You must cover your nose and mouth for masks to be effective.
4. By Public Health Order, gatherings are limited to 15 persons or less (with certain exceptions for establishments).
5. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and areas such as doorknobs, handles, cell phones, tablets, etc.
6. Stay home if you are sick. Regardless if you think it may be a cold, it could be allergies, but it also could be something worse.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2021. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.



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