© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Coronavirus
NPR and KMUW are thoroughly committed to monitoring COVID-19 activity and its potential impact on your lives. We are continually updating kmuw.org with the latest news. Find the DAILY UPDATE here.Kansas is currently in Phase 5 for vaccine distribution, meaning anyone age 16+ is eligible for a vaccine. Adolescents 12 and older can receive the Pfizer vaccine.Each of the 105 counties in Kansas has its own plan for how vaccinations will be implemented. Check directly with your county for information on how to sign up to get vaccinated. Sedgwick CountyButler CountyCowley CountyHarvey CountyKingman CountyReno CountyAs more vaccine is made available, many private clinics and pharmacies are now administering shots in addition to county health departments. Here’s where you can find a vaccine site near you.For information and resources for food assistance, unemployment help, free services, and volunteer opportunities, see our COVID-19: Helpful Links & Resources page.

Sedgwick County Commission Reinstates Curfew On Bar-Restaurants

042920CovidWichita_monarch_0.jpg
Fernando Salazar
/
Wichita Journalism Collaborative
The Monarch in Delano is one of the more than 350 restaurants that also sell alcohol that will be affected under the new public health order.

The Sedgwick County Commission has reinstated part of an emergency public health order, two days after removing it.

At a special meeting on Friday, commissioners put back in place a requirement that restaurants that sell alcohol must close at midnight. That was part of the original order issued earlier this week by county health officer Dr. Garold Minns, but commissioners removed the restriction at their meeting Wednesday.

In that same order, Minns ordered all bars and nightclubs closed through Aug. 21, which affects 74 businesses. But most of the bars in Wichita, more than 350, don’t fall into that category because they generate 30 percent of their revenue selling food. That includes many of the bars in the Old Town entertainment district.

Mayor Brandon Whipple had criticized the county’s move, saying on Twitter it made the order "almost useless." He said many restaurants serve food earlier in the day and become essentially nightclubs later in the evening.

Minns has linked a rise in COVID-19 cases, especially among younger people, to activity at bars and nightclubs. The county has seen a significant increase in cases over the past few weeks, with the number of active cases now topping 2,000.

Before the county’s move Friday, Whipple said he was exploring a city ordinance that would set a curfew for liquor sales.

Commissioners Pete Meitzner, Lacy Cruse and David Dennis supported the move, which takes effect Saturday.

Meitzner said reinstating the order is about taking care of the community.

“We are trying to take care the best we can of our area, based on our hospitals, our economy, based on the data that is available today,” he said.

Jim Howell and Michael O'Donnell voted no, saying the order punishes businesses that are following the rules.

"My heart does break for these people because so many are good actors, and we’re punishing the good actors," O’Donnell said. "This vote today is going to put a lot of people in our community out of work."

Tom Shine is the director of news and public affairs. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine. To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.