In response to the outbreak of COVID-19, on March 18, 2020, the Douglas County Health Director (the “Director”) issued an order declaring that any public gathering of with an expected presence of more than ten (10) persons is prohibited (the “Order”).
The Order does contain certain exclusions, however those exclusions are narrower than might be expected and should be carefully reviewed. For instance, for gatherings below ten (10) persons, if the minimum social distance of six feet cannot be maintained, then that gathering is prohibited, even though less than ten (10) persons would be present.
Additionally, Order does not apply to certain enumerated businesses and organizations. However, with respect to most non-critical businesses, the Order states that it does not apply to “continuity of business operations”. The Order does not detail the extent of the meaning of “continuity of business operations.” The Order also provides that any violation of the Order may be subject to a Class V Misdemeanor for offenses relating to the State and County’s power to supervise and control “all matters relating to necessary communicable disease control.”
Businesses, civic groups, and other organizations should carefully review the Order and further guidance from local, state, and federal officials in regards to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Order is available here.
Author: Neil Hassler
This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.
Neil P. Hassler