he Platte County Health Department’s Public Health Order was updated Monday at a special meeting of the health department’s board of trustees. The updated order went into effect at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 22.
Under the change, restaurants, bars, and taverns may resume operating according to their permitted hours and are no longer required to close at midnight. Also, there is no longer a limit on the size of gatherings, as long as all attendees follow masking and physical distancing requirements. Events attended by more than 10 people are no longer required to submit a mitigation plan to the health department.
According to Mary Jo Vernon, director of the health department, staff made the recommendation to update the order for several reasons.
“The number of cases reported in Platte County and throughout the region have been dropping consistently since early January, making it possible to ease restrictions,” Vernon said. “The number of hospitalizations in the region has also dropped,” she added.
The health board also discussed the fact that Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas eased restrictions in that city last Friday. Clay County followed suit on Sunday, Feb. 21.
“Consistency throughout the Northland is important to avoid confusion among business operators and patrons,” Vernon said. “Plus, we don’t want our businesses to be at a competitive disadvantage by forcing them to close earlier than those in neighboring jurisdictions.”
Vernon stressed the importance of remaining vigilant with wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance.
“We all want life to return to normal, but we need to ease into these changes slowly. The numbers are improving, but we’re still in the midst of a pandemic,” Vernon said. “We must continue to protect ourselves and our families by wearing face coverings and physically distancing. By following these simple measures and getting the vaccine when it’s available to you, together we can end this pandemic.”
To view the updated order and to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the Health Department’s website at www.plattecountyhealthdept.com