WICHITA – The Sedgwick County Commission further reduced restrictions during it’s Feb. 3 meeting, relaxing rules for some restaurants.As of this past Sunday, restaurants that do not serve alcohol no longer have any restrictions on their hours. Previously, they were required to close at 11 p.m.Early last week, the county’s health officer, Dr. Garold Minns, announced other changes to the county’s pandemic health order, and those changes were upheld by the county commission, acting as the county health board.Those changes included extending hours for bars and restaurants from 11 p.m. to midnight. The midnight restriction remains in effect for restaurants that serve alcohol and for all bars.The mass gathering limit was raised from 25 people to 100 people. Retail stores can now allow up to 75 percent of their fire code capacity, up from 50 percent. Bars, restaurants, event centers and fitness centers may allow up to 75 percent capacity or 150 people, whichever is less. The limit for youth and recreational sporting events was increased to four attendees per participant.These changes went into effect on Sunday.Sedgwick County continues to have a mask mandate, and social distancing should be maintained at all times.Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, last week cautioned Americans about dining out. He said eating inside during the pandemic can be done, if it is “done carefully.” Airflow is one concern, as is having sufficient spacing between parties. During a CNN interview, he expressed sympathy for the food service industry, which has been devastated over the past year.
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