Health department to begin compliance checks on restaurants, bars; COVID-19 cases rise to 1,996

photo by: Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

Sept. 18 COVID-19 update from the health department

The health department will start conducting checks on local bars, restaurants and entertainment venues to ensure they are following public health orders, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced Friday.

A Sept. 4 health order requires that all establishments with a liquor license must stop serving alcohol after 9 p.m. and close their premises no later than 10 p.m.

This week, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health sent out more than 170 letters to establishments, informing them of the health order.

“We are extending our resources to work with local restaurants, bars and entertainment venues because we understand that education and enforcement are critical supports for our public health order. The more we all work together, the better chance our community will have at reducing environments that increase risk for spread of the coronavirus,” Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge said. “We believe this order gives establishments clear guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic.”

Douglas County has reported 1,996 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, an increase of 28 cases since Thursday.

The county has averaged about 17 new cases per day over the last 14 days, according to a 14-day moving average graph updated weekdays by the health department. The current average of 17 new cases per day is down from a high of 45 cases per day in late August and up from a low of nine cases per day in early August.

In Douglas County, 1,303 out of the 1,996 cases are inactive or beyond the infectious period, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

Three patients at Lawrence’s hospital had COVID-19 on Friday, one fewer than Thursday.

The Douglas County Community Scorecard noted seven new outbreaks of COVID-19 in Douglas County this past week. An outbreak is defined as two or more cases not from the same household with the same identified source of exposure. The scorecard also notes that 27 cases from this past week were due to community transmission; that is, the cases could not be linked to a known case, an outbreak or travel.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s online map noted that 27,837 Douglas County residents had been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 227.7.


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