A new public health order limiting mass gatherings and restricting hours of operation for certain business has been issued and is slated to go into effect Feb. 22, when the current public health order is set to expire.
According to the Saline County Health Department, after careful consideration, the new health order:
- increases the limit on mass gatherings from 15 to 50 people (Section 1),
- increases the capacity limit for certain establishments from 25 percent to 50 percent (Section 2), and,
- clarifies limitations for indoor entertainment spaces like a bowling alley, arcade, trampoline park, and the like (Section 2).
At the January County Commission meeting, Saline County Health Officer Jason Tiller told commissioners that infection numbers were decreasing and vaccines were slated to come to Saline County with more certainty. However, local medical experts would need another two infection cycles (28 days) to get a more accurate picture of whether or not that decline was sustainable.
Now, nearly a month later, it appears the numbers are continuing to trend in the right direction, with new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths on the decline. Currently more than 5,500 people in Saline County have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and local officials are cautiously optimistic that vaccines will continue to make their way to Saline County.
Local health experts are confident that with the number of people being vaccinated against the deadly virus increasing, alongside the public’s use of proven methods like hand washing, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing, those numbers will keep falling.
“We are hopeful that cases will continue to decline, and we understand everyone is eager to get back to business as usual, but we’re not all the way there yet,” said Tiller. “We are still keeping a close eye on the numbers and are monitoring COVID variants, which have begun showing up in Kansas. We will continue to look at how our policies effect both public health and the local economy as we move forward.”
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