Finch: Follow sound health practices, help each other

Greetings,

You can’t turn on a TV or have a conversation this week that does not mention the coronavirus. The same is true in Topeka where work on this public health challenge has been underway. I have been proud of the people of our state this week. They have shown calm, resolve and strength in the face of this virus and been quick to try to help others. Challenging times are when Kansas shines brightest.

Throughout the week we have been in meetings with our state’s public health officials and members of the executive branch. They are doing a good job of staying on top of this rapidly changing situation and keeping members of the legislature informed. We are fortunate to have good public health leaders in times like these – both at the state level and right here at home.

These dedicated people are making tough decisions with the best information they have available. It is not an enviable position to be in, but they are prioritizing public safety and the health of all Kansans in their decisions and that is as it should be.

This is not a political issue; it is a public health issue. The health and safety of all Kansans comes first, and it is the highest priority for me and my fellow legislators. To that end the House took up the concurrent resolution to extend the governor’s emergency declaration on Friday. This will allow the executive branch to move resources and personnel quickly and in the most effective way to ensure our first responders, health care providers and communities have all they need to help slow the spread of the virus and treat those who may have it.

I encourage you to check out the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s webpage www.kdhe.ks.gov for more information and to follow the guidelines they recommend:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

We will be hard at work on our one Constitutionally mandated duty this week, passing a budget. We want to act swiftly to pass a basic budget, so the state is ready and able to serve the public throughout these present challenges and beyond.

By following sound public health practices, helping each other, and each of us doing our part we will do what Kansans always do, make it through together.

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