LAWRENCE, Kan. (KPR) – Douglas County health officials are ordering residents to stay at home until April 23. Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino issued the order Sunday, as Douglas County tries to stop the spread of COVID-19. Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and healthcare facilities will remain open, as residents are ordered to remain home except for essential needs.
The order for Douglas County matches recent orders issued in the neighboring counties around Kansas City, including Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth.
The Douglas County "Stay at Home" order takes effect at 12:01 am Tuesday, March 24, giving resident and employers time Monday to make preparations. The order is effective until April 23, unless otherwise amended. “With full community cooperation, this proactive public health order can minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our Douglas County community,” Marcellino said.
Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, must stay-at-home. All other community members should stay at home except to perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time.
Dr. Marcellino says it's okay to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and if you practice proper social distancing.
Read the full order for details, but some examples of “essential businesses” include:
- Healthcare operations, essential infrastructure and essential government functions
- Establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and any other household consumer products
- Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, and other necessities of life for those economically disadvantaged
- Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair and servicing, emergency road services and related services and facilities
- Banks and related financial institutions
- Hardware stores
- Those who work in trades that provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of homes and essential operations or businesses
- Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
- Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food and beverages, but only for delivery or carry out and not for consumption on the premises
- Home-based care for seniors, adults or children
- Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, real estate services, and insurance services
- Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the order to work as permitted, given children are cared for in groups of 10 or fewer
- Mortuary, cremation and burial services.
- Hotels and motels.
- Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services.
The order does not prevent University of Kansas students from moving out of residence halls as they work through a process with KU Housing, and it also does not prevent employees for making a quick trip to get an item from their offices, if needed.
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The Stay at Home order for Douglas County is similar to other Stay at Home orders taking effect at midnight for the Kansas City metro area, including Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties.