TOPEKA, Kan. – Public health officials in two of Kansas’ most populous counties have tightened restrictions on gatherings, and public schools in the state’s capital city have scrapped at least two weeks of in-person classes in favor online learning amid a statewide surge in coronavirus cases.
In Shawnee County, home to the state capital of Topeka, gatherings will be limited to 10 people whether they are held indoors or outdoors, starting Friday. An order from Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, the county’s health officer, dropped the limits from 25 for indoor gatherings and 45 for outdoor gatherings and said bars and restaurants that can hold 100 or more people must operate at 50% of their capacities.
The limit on gatherings also will drop Friday to 15 from 45 in neighboring Douglas County, home to the main University of Kansas campus under an order issued by the county health officer, Dr. Thomas Marcellino.
With their orders, at least seven of the state’s 105 counties have issued more restrictive rules this week.
The Topeka public school district, with about 13,000 students and 2,400 staff, announced that it would suspend in-person classes for at least two weeks, starting Monday. The district, one of the largest in the state, had students splitting four days a week between in-person and online classes, with online classes Wednesdays.