Shawnee County COVID-19 Response Team adds new places to their local response plans

The Shawnee County COVID-19 Response Team has issued this addendum to clarify the local application of the Ad Astra plan. 

This May 5, 2020 addendum is a comprehensive update that clarifies and adds local restrictions to the document titled “A Guide to Re-Open Shawnee County” issued May 1, 2020. 

Shawnee County has adopted in full the Governors “Ad Astra: A guide to open Kansas” issued through Executive Order 20-29. 

Today’s additions include clarification regarding, Places of Worship, Elective Surgeries and Parks and Recreation green spaces, facilities and programs


This addendum to the Shawnee County Re-Opening Guide is intended to provide any additional local restrictions and clarification of restrictions that are addressed is Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” that can be found at kansas/ 

Page 4 of the Ad Astra plan states: “…the State will set the regulatory baseline for Kansas local governments in each phase of this framework, allowing local governments to retain the ability to impose additional restrictions that are in the best interest of the health of their residents.” Additionally, “Local governments may decide whether an individual or organization performs an essential function under the Kansas Essential Function Framework (KEFF), but any individual or business with confirmation of its KEFF status from the State is to remain deemed essential.” 

Following this guidance, the locally added prohibited businesses in phase one in Shawnee County list are: May 5, 2020 additions/information highlighted below 

  • Parks + Recreation. During Phase one the following are closed: Community Centers/Wellness Centers, Organized sports and venues, Summer Camps, Recreation programs, Swimming pools Old Prairie Town buildings, Rental facilities (including shelters), Outdoor Entertainment Venues/Events, Playgrounds, Outdoor restrooms, Senior Centers, Splash Pads, Beaches. 

o Community Gardens: Open with appropriate social distancing by assigned 2-hour work window, masks, and gloves recommended for all, no shared tools.

o Marinas: Marinas open with mass gathering restrictions and social distancing. o Courts and Skate Parks: Open but limited to non-contact activities with a limit of 10 people and adequate social distancing.

o Dog Park: Open but limited to non-contact activities with a limit of 10 people and adequate social distancing. Follow posted guidance. 

  • Dance studios, dance rehearsal, and dance instruction facilities. These facilities are categorized locally as organized sports facilities and/or gyms that cannot open in phase one. These facilities and organizations are still allowed and encouraged to provide online instruction as they have been previous to this date. 
  • Topeka Shawnee County Public Library (TSCPL). The TSCPL is unique in that it offers much more than just library services and falls more in line with community center functions, which are prohibited in phase one. The high level of social interaction, sharing of objects such as public use of computers, community spaces (furniture and equipment), etc. Further “indoor leisure spaces” are prohibited. Patrons of the TCPL are encouraged to continue to use online services. 
  • Rossville Library. Will remain closed until (at least) May 18th,2020. 
  • Silver Lake Library. Will remain closed through (at least) May 25, 2020. Then it may only open with limited service. 
  • Under “Indoor leisure spaces” the following business types are prohibited in phase one. 

o Gaming. Ax throwing, lock in rooms, board game, and other gaming clubs in business facilities (gaming in homes with non-family members is highly discouraged). o Painting, sculpting, pottery, and similar. 

Addendum Update: Monday May 5, 2020, 1200pm 

o Table Pool, ping pong, shuffleboard, darts, arcade or other gaming areas in any facility open to the public. 

Non classified Important information 

  • While not specifically listed in the Ad Astra plan, outdoor events that promote social or mass gathering for one purpose that is not essential to life safety such as car shows, are highly discouraged and people should avoid such situations. 
  • Masks are highly encouraged in all public places. 
  • Please follow the guidance in restaurants and businesses to continually flatten the curve. 

May 5, 2020 additions/information highlighted below 


*Places of worship: Like businesses, places of worship are required to follow social distancing guidelines. Families, of course, can sit together but a 6-foot separation between families should be kept. The entirety of the gathering is subject to the size of the space/facility where social distancing and cleaning can be ensured. Other restrictions applied are by the leadership of those specific places of worship. 

*Elective surgery: Facilities that provide elective surgeries or procedures (to include dental offices) are allowed to open. Social distancing and cleaning recommendations apply. Any further restrictions that ensure safety are encouraged and highly recommended. 

Bars and restaurants: Future guides will separate the two types of businesses. Restaurants are clearly covered in the AdAstra plan and additional recommendations are included in the Shawnee County guide. Bars and nightclubs and indoor leisure spaces are prohibited. Any bar and grill or sports bars that serve food or operate a portion of the facility as a restaurant are allowed to operate only that portion of the business under the restaurant guidance. 

Counter Service: Counter service is prohibited in the AdAstra plan. The intention of this restriction is specific to counter service that would serve food or drinks at a bar or counter. Ordering food and paying for it at a counter or register space is allowed. The social distancing rules and guides to restaurants must be followed (six feet separation, sanitation standards, and gathering size). 

Pet Groomers: The Kansas Essential Functions Framework (KEFF) issued guidance while under the States “Safer at Home” order that prohibited pet grooming facilities. As phase one is issued Pet Groomers are considered a “normal business” and are allowed to open provided they follow all social distance for individuals and business as described in the Ad Astra plan. 

Indoor Leisure Spaces: any business or area in a business where pool tables, ping pong, darts arcade games should be restricted. Art, pottery, painting, board gaming, or other types of spaces fall under this category and are prohibited. 

The SNCO COVID-19 Response Team will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide information to the Shawnee County Recovery Task Force and Shawnee County residents as it becomes available. 

For any questions please contact Incident Commander [email protected].