Aug 01, 2020 10:55 AM

Ellis Co. to consider ending mass gatherings in county buildings

Posted Aug 01, 2020 10:55 AM

By CRISTINA JANNEY
Hays Post

Starting Monday, Ellis County plans to limit gatherings in the Unrein and Schenk buildings with the buildings closing to mass gathering completely by Sept. 1.

The policy will be reviewed for final approval by the Ellis County Commission at its meeting at 5 p.m. Monday at the county administration building.

The change is part of a policy to eliminate all indoor gatherings at county-owned property in attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19, Ellis County Administrator J.D. Cox said.

Both buildings at the Ellis County Fairgrounds are frequently used for wedding receptions and other events. Events are usually scheduled in the buildings year round. 

Cox said county staff have already started to notify individuals who have booked the buildings about the cancellations. He said the phased approach was an attempt to give renters time to make alternate arrangements.

The chart below shows the phases for gatherings at the buildings with total closure happening after Aug. 31.

Unrein, Schenk buildings gathering limits
Unrein, Schenk buildings gathering limits

Cox said the proposed policy is in response to increasing COVID-19 numbers in the county with some cases being the result of contact at mass gatherings at county-owned facilities. 

Also on the county  agenda is a transfer of $300,000 from Hess Services for the Northwest Business Corridor project.

Hess received a workforce grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce. Dan Hess said he would commit this funding to Ellis County to help pay for the business corridor project.