Tag Archives: COVID19

Commissioners exempt Osage County from governor’s emergency order

The Osage County Commissioners held a special meeting this afternoon, July 2, 2020, and exempted Osage County from the governor’s executive order regarding wearing of masks and other safety measures to combat the COVID-19.

The following is the resolution signed by the commissioners to exempt the county from the governor’s order:

RESOLUTION NO. 2020-05

AN ORDER EXEMPTING OSAGE COUNTY, KANSAS FROM EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 20-52

WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 33, paragraph (h) of House Bill No. 2016, the Board of County Commissioners may issue an order relating to public health that includes provisions that are less stringent than the provisions of an executive order effective statewide issued by the Governor.

WHEREAS, the Board of County Commissioners has consulted with the Osage County Health officer regarding the Governor’s July 2, 2020 executive order and makes the following findings:

a.) Covid-19 cases remain low in Osage County with little if any evidence of community spread.

b.) Enforcement of the Governor’s executive order mandating masks would be difficult, if not impossible and would be an unreasonable strain on county resources such as PPE and local law enforcement.

c.) Broad ranging recommendations on safety precautions to fight the potential spread of Covid-19 better serve the public’s overall interests than Governmental mandates.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED by the Board of County Commissioners of Osage County, Kansas, that Osage County is hereby exempt from the requirements set forth in Executive Order No. 20-52 issued by the Governor of the State of Kansas.

IT IS SO ORDERED this 2nd day of July, 2020.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

Supreme Court requires face coverings in district, appellate court proceedings

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Supreme Court today issued an administrative order requiring district and appellate courts to comply with the governor’s order requiring people to wear face coverings in public areas to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Administrative Order 2020-PR-090, effective July 3, 2020, requires district and appellate courts to comply with Gov. Laura Kelly’s Executive Order No. 20-52, requiring the use of face coverings in public, even though the governor’s order exempts court proceedings.

The Supreme Court order requires all court employees, judicial officers, and members of the public to wear a face covering in any courtroom, court office, or other facility used for a court proceeding. Face coverings must also be worn in any nonpublic court office unless physical shields are in place.

Courts are required to comply even if local county commissions opt out of the governor’s executive order.

“We must protect the health and safety of court users, staff, and judicial officers during this pandemic,” Chief Justice Marla Luckert said. “The use of face coverings, hygiene practices, protective shielding, and social distancing will allow us to do that as we conduct court proceedings across the state.”

The Supreme Court order allows a judge to waive the face covering requirement under certain circumstances set out in the order.

Gov. Kelly signs executive order mandating masks in public spaces

Simple, proactive way to keep Kansans safe, and keep Kansas businesses open

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly today issued Executive Order No. 20-52 requiring that most Kansans must wear a mask while in public spaces, and in places where individuals are unable to maintain social distancing of six feet.

The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, 2020, and will remain in place until rescinded or until the current statewide state of disaster emergency expires – whichever is earlier.

“The last few months have presented many new challenges for Kansans, and all of us want to return to our normal lives and routines,” Kelly said. “Unfortunately, we have seen a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths across our state and our country. We must act.

‘Viruses don’t stop at county lines. This order doesn’t change where you can go or what you can do. But wearing a mask is a simple and effective way to keep Kansans healthy and keep Kansas open for business.”

Under the order, Kansans are required to wear masks when inside any public space – including their workplace – or in situations where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. Guidance regarding specific places or situations in which masks are required is outlined within the order.

Kansans under five years of age, those with medical conditions, and others specifically outlined in the order are exempt from these requirements.

KDHE adds states to travel quarantine list, removes others

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has added two states to the COVID-19 quarantine list, South Carolina and Florida, and removed Maryland. This is in effect for persons arriving in or returning to Kansas today, June 29, 2020, and moving forward. The state will review/update this list every two weeks.

A comprehensive list of those individuals needing to quarantine for 14 days includes visitors and Kansans who have:

  • Traveled to South Carolina and Florida on or after June 29.
  • Traveled to Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas on or after June 17.
  • Been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15.
  • Traveled internationally on or after March 15.

Others who need to continue quarantining include those who have received notification from public health officials, state or local, that they have been in close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

States added to this list are determined by evaluating new cases in states over a two-week period, then adjusting for population size, giving a case per 100,000 population, which can then be compared to the rate in Kansas. States with significantly higher rates (approximately three times higher) are added to the list.

Travel quarantines do not prohibit travel through Kansas. People from these locations may still travel through Kansas. If this is done, KDHE recommends limited stops, wearing a mask at rest stops or when getting gas and being six feet from others when doing so. If the destination is Kansas, they would be required to quarantine upon arrival to their destination.

Critical infrastructure sector employees who have traveled to these destinations should contact their employers regarding instructions for application of these quarantine orders. Critical infrastructure employees need to have the staffing resources to continue serving Kansans. KDHE strongly recommends these quarantine restrictions for everyone, but recognizes that services need to continue.

Gov. Kelly announces masks must be worn statewide

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that she will sign an executive order requiring that most Kansans in public spaces must wear a mask, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, 2020.

“This is a simple, proactive step we can take to keep Kansans at work, get our kids back to school, and keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy,” Governor Kelly said. “Wearing a mask is not only safe – but it is necessary to avoid another shut down.

“Remember, my mask protects you, and your mask protects me,” Kelly said. “We’re all in this together.”

Under the order, most Kansans must wear masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and in any situation in which social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained, including outside. The executive order will be released on Thursday, and will provide specific guidance regarding under what circumstances masks must be worn.

“I know Kansans will have many questions about this order – and we will answer them when it is released later this week,” Kelly said. “But by announcing the requirement today, people in our state will have the appropriate time to acquire the masks.”

The Kansas Attorney General’s Office will work with officials in Kelly’s administration to ensure that the order complies with Kansas law.

For more information on COVID-19 in Kansas, visit www.covid.ks.gov.

Osage County confirms 2 more COVID-19 cases; 3 currently infected, 10 recovered

In a social media post Sunday, the Osage County Health Department announced it had confirmed two new positive cases of COVID-19 in the county, making a total of 13 known cases since the pandemic reached Osage County. Ten people are reported as recovered from the disease, and there are three current active cases and 30 reported as in quarantine, as of today, June 29, 2020.

The new cases are reported to be a 48-year-old female who resides in central Osage County, and a 16-year-old male who lives in the northern part of the county.

The social media post said that close contacts of the individuals have been notified. OCHD reported today that 805 tests have had negative results in the county.

Osage County’s new cases come as Kansas is showing a spike in confirmed cases, having recorded 428 cases Friday, and 238 Saturday. Total, as of today, Kansas has 14,443 positive cases, with 270 deaths. More than 162,000 negative test results have been recorded in the state.

As records levels of COVID-19 cases were being set across the U.S. over the last week, two more states have been added to Kansas’ quarantine list, South Carolina and Florida.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced today that she will issue an executive order requiring people to wear masks in all public spaces, effective July 3, 2020.

Osage County confirms 11th COVID-19 case

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage across the United States and yesterday Osage County confirmed its 11th positive COVID-19 case since the pandemic began.

The Osage County Health Department reported in a social media post yesterday, June 25, 2020, that the infected person is a 36-year-old male who lives in the northern part of Osage County. He was reported as being in isolation and doing well.

The health department post said it had been in contact with close contacts of the infected person and they are also quarantined. The department’s COVID-19 counter shows nine people are currently under quarantine in the county.

Osage County currently has one positive case and 10 recovered cases, and 760 people tested have had negative results.

KDHE adds states to travel quarantine list, removes others

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has added three states to the quarantine list due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas, and removed six states, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. This is effective today, June 17, 2020. The state will review and update the list on July 1.

A comprehensive list of those individuals in Kansas needing to quarantine for 14 days includes those who have traveled to Maryland on or after May 12, or Alabama, Arizona and Arkansas on or after June 17; been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15; traveled internationally on or after March 15.

Others needing to continue quarantining include those who have been notified by public health officials they have been in close contact to a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.

Osage County confirms 10th COVID-19 case

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Health Department has reported another new positive COVID-19 case in Osage County, bringing the county’s total confirmed cases to 10 since the start of the pandemic.

OCHD reported Tuesday, June 9, 2020, that the newest confirmed case is a 21-year-old male who lives in the northern part of Osage County. The case is not associated with other known positives in the county, and has been linked to a positive case in another county. Health department staff is to contact anyone with direct contact with the positive individual.

Osage County’s ninth case was reported Monday, a 42-year-old male who lives in the southern part of the county. That case was reported as being connected to an out-of-county outbreak. As of yesterday, the county had 10 people under quarantine, three positive cases, seven recovered cases, and tallied 550 negative test results.

Kansans encouraged to “Call-a-Lawyer” for once-a-month free legal advice

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Bar Association and the Topeka Bar Association joined forces in 2017 to  launch a new public service – Call-a-Lawyer – designed to help persons in need of legal advice and information.

The next Call-a-Lawyer will be 6-8 p.m. Thursday, June 11, 2020. Anyone seeking legal advice is encouraged to call 800-928-3111. Callers have the opportunity to speak to volunteer lawyers who donate their time and expertise to answer questions, and provide legal advice and information.

“There is no charge to talk to one of the lawyers during the Call-a-Lawyer event,” said Pat Byers, director of the KBA Lawyer Referral Service. “The COVID-19 quarantine and restrictions have led to questions in so many areas – evictions, workplace safety, domestic abuse, child welfare, substance abuse – to name but a few. Lower income Kansans and many rural Kansans may not have access to affordable legal assistance.”

The volunteers are members of the KBA or the TBA and are able to provide information on many legal issues, including probate, family law (such as child custody, divorce, and adoption), landlord-tenant issues and other matters involving real property and employment (such as wrongful termination, workplace conflicts and employment rights).

Call-a-Lawyer takes place on the second Thursday of each month.

Lyndon Library reopens to somewhat normal operations; patrons invited in

Lyndon Carnegie Library has reopened to patrons following several reopening phases. Now all doors will be open for access during the library’s hours of 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

Plans are for the library to be open on Saturdays beginning July 11.

Upon entering the library, patrons will be asked to sanitize their hands at sanitizing stations at both entrances. CDC recommends everyone wear a mask, but masks will not be required in the library at this time. There will be masks available for those who don’t have one and would like to wear one.

The number of people in the library at one time will be limited to 10, and patrons will be asked to follow six-foot social distancing guidelines.

Computers will be available by walk up, with a one-hour limit. Three computers are upstairs for public use and two computers are downstairs for family or children use. The computers will be sanitized after each use and are six feet apart.

Curbside service will still be available for those who do not feel comfortable coming to the library; hours available are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 2-6 p.m. Monday to Wednesday. Anyone homebound or who cannot easily get out of their vehicle is asked to contact the library at 785-828-4520 for assistance.

For more information about the Lyndon Carnegie Library, call 785-828-4520, or stop by 127 E. Sixth St., Lyndon.

Osage County confirms 9th COVID-19 case

LYNDON, Kan. – Osage County Commissioner Ken Kuykendall announced Osage County’s latest COVID-19 case at the weekly commission meeting this morning. The latest case is the ninth for the county. Kuykendall said two current cases in the county were connected to out-of-county outbreaks and the patients contracted the disease at their out-of-county workplaces.

The Osage County Health Department later reported on social media the newest case is a 42-year-old male who lives in the southern part of Osage County. The health department post said the case had been linked to a known outbreak in Lyon County, and health department staff has contacted people in direct contact of the patient, who is being monitored.

OCHD reports as of today, June 8, 2020, the county has 10 people under quarantine order, two positive cases, seven people recovered, and 538 negative test results.

Osage City Library reopens for patron services; kicks off summer reading program

The Osage City Public Library has reopened for patrons to come in and check out items.  Staff will continue to wipe down all items returned with disinfectant wipes, and place them in quarantine for 72 hours before they become available for checking out. This also will include items that are on reserved.

The library will begin having public computers available Monday, June 8, 2020. There will be a limited number of computers available and a 30-minute time limit for use for social distancing purposes.

Readers of all ages are encouraged to stop in and sign up for the 2020 Summer Library Program.

The library will continue to hand out five lunches and milks to those ages 1 to 18, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Currently, the library hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

For more information, stop by Osage City Public Library, 515 Main St., Osage City, Kan., or call 785-528-3727.

Sheriff’s office and jail services to resume as county begins reopening

LYNDON, Kan. – Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn has announced procedure changes at facilities under her authority as the county begins reopening phases due to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

In a press release issued today, the sheriff reminded visitors that the Osage County Jail and Osage County Sheriff’s Office have small lobbies, and six-foot social distancing should be observed prior to entering the lobbies. (If there is an emergency, enter the building as usual.)

Other reopening procedures include:

Kansas Highway Patrol vehicle identification number inspections will resume as of today, May 27, 2020, from 9 a.m. to noon. Inspections will be done in the garage area of the jail due to the size of the lobby.

Registered offenders can resume registering in person at the sheriff’s office as of May 28.

On June 1, the jail will begin public and court order process fingerprinting. Everyone must wear a mask in the jail facility, and must wash hands prior to fingerprinting and after.

Fingerprinting will be for Osage County residents, except for court ordered processes, and includes fingerprinting for concealed carry, teachers, nursing, firearm licenses and purchases, and court ordered. Fingerprinting will be done 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday to Friday. For more information, contact the jail at 785-828-4991. A reminder to jail visitors, if someone is in the lobby, wait before entering due to the size of the lobby.

On June 7, inmate visitation will begin with changes. Visitation will now be held 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Visitors must schedule their 20-minute visit by calling 785-828-4991. One visit will occur every 30 minutes, allowing time to clean the visitation area. All visitors must wear a mask during visitation.

At this time, no religious services or NA or AA meetings will be allowed in the jail. Arrangements can be made with prior approval for an inmate to have time with visitation with clergy as needed. This policy will be in effect until at least July 1.

For more information, contact the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121 or 131 W. 14th St., Lyndon, and the Osage County Jail at 785-828-4991 or 702 Ash St., Lyndon.

Governor signs disaster declaration, warns grave consequences without legislative action

TOPEKA, Kan. – Yesterday, Governor Laura Kelly announced a series of actions her administration is taking to respond to the emergency situation COVID-19 currently presents to the economy and to public safety.

After careful review, Kelly has vetoed House Bill 2054. This sweeping, hastily crafted legislation pushed through the Kansas Legislature last week includes provisions that will damage Kansas’ ability to respond to COVID-19 and all future disasters. The bill also weakens local county health officer authorities and adds unnecessary layers of bureaucracy to their emergency response efforts.

Kelly has signed a new state disaster declaration to ensure that Kansas can effectively respond to the current emergency situation, which includes an unprecedented economic emergency and the imminent threat of new outbreaks of COVID-19, specifically regarding food supply. This will also ensure the state can continue its coordinated response with federal and state partners.

Kelly has called a special session starting June 3. She has asked the Legislature to put politics aside, work with her, and deliver an emergency management bill that has been vetted, debated, is transparent and addresses the need to keep Kansans safe and healthy.

“As I’ve said from day one, the safety and well-being of Kansans is my number one priority. What the Legislature sent to my desk does not protect Kansans. It does not help Kansans. It puts their lives at risk,” Kelly said. “I’m calling on the Legislature to come back and put a carefully crafted, bipartisan bill on my desk that will provide the resources Kansans need, in a timely manner. We must stop putting Kansans at risk.”

KDHE recommends self-quarantine for Kansans who traveled to Lake of the Ozarks

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is recommending voluntary 14-day self-quarantine for those Kansans who traveled to Lake of the Ozarks, Mo., over the Memorial Day weekend and did not use protective measures, such as social distancing and face masks. Over the holiday weekend, large crowds were reported at the Lake of the Ozarks with no protective practices being followed.

“The reckless behavior displayed during this weekend risks setting our community back substantially for the progress we’ve already made in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary. “If you traveled to Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend, we urge you to act responsibly and self-quarantine to protect your neighbors, co-workers and family.”

While Lake of the Ozarks is not currently on the mandated travel list, KDHE is urging those who traveled over the Memorial Day weekend to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return to Kansas.

Home Town Health Care: You can still rely on us to be there for you

During a time of your greatest need, Home Town Health Care’s home health and hospice staff is trained and equipped with the most up-to-date information and recommendations from the CDC and KDHE. As Covid-19 continues to spread through counties in Kansas, you can still rely on Home Town Health Care for your home health and hospice needs.

Our nurses and aides are trained on the proper precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and protect the health of our patients and communities. As others cancel or reduce visits, Home Town Health Care is able to help qualifying patients with lab testing, critical therapy, and medical needs in the safety of your home. We are continuing to help people who have medical needs, are unsafe to leave their homes, or can’t leave.

In this time of uncertainty, you can rest assured that Home Town Health Care will be there to care for you.

Call us at Lyndon 785-310-0000, or Emporia 620-342-2600.

Home Town Home Health and Hospice. There to Care.

4th Judicial District courts to reopen May 26

OTTAWA, Kan. – The Fourth Judicial District has announced its court offices and courtrooms in Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties will reopen to the public on May 26, 2020. Citizens are asked to call the court office before visiting or attending court, as most hearings will be held remotely by Zoom or teleconference. Anyone with a court date is asked to call prior to the date for assistance in setting up a Zoom hearing, possibly avoiding traveling to court altogether. Court staff can also assist with common questions by phone or email, and help make arrangements for in-person hearings if needed.

Under order of the Supreme Court and with input from local public health officials, the court has developed safety precautions and will implement a plan with the following requirements. Visitors must:

  • Pass a COVID-19 screening questionnaire, developed with input from the CDC, KDHE, and local health departments.
  • Wear a mask. If you have a mask already, please bring your own. The court will have a supply of disposable masks for those who do not.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Maintain six feet of social distance.

A maximum of 10 people will be allowed in a courtroom. The public will still be able to attend court, but the COVID-19 precautions will limit available seating. Anyone wishing to observe court is asked to call ahead for assistance. Some hearings will be available to view online.

For more information about the Fourth Judicial District’s COVID-19 precautions, contact John K. Steelman, district court administrator, Fourth Judicial District of Kansas, 785-242-6000. For information about procedures and access to Osage County District Court, call 785-828-4514.

Osage County confirms 7th COVID-19 case; 6 recovered

The Osage County Health Department has reported that a seventh positive COVID-19 case has been confirmed in the county.

In a social media post May 18, 2020, the health department reported the infected individual is a 51-year-old female who lives in the southern part of Osage County. She was reported as doing well and quarantined at home.

The post said the health department is working on contact tracing and will contact anyone who has had significant contact with the patient.

As of yesterday, May 20, the department reported that Osage County has had six recovered cases, with currently only one positive case and four people under ordered quarantine. The county reports 331 negative test results.

The department reported Osage County does not have any evidence of local transmission of the virus.

Sheriff’s office to discontinue grocery delivery except for those quarantined

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office has been providing assistance for groceries, medications and Help House to those in need since the county was put under a stay at home order on March 28, 2020. Osage County Sheriff Laurie Dunn said the office had helped approximately 125 households since then.

“This service could not have been done without the help from Jerry’s Thriftway, Auburn Pharmacy, Schroeder Drugs and Carbondale Thriftway,” Dunn said.

Effective today, May 20, 2020, the sheriff’s office will discontinue those services except for anyone under quarantine or COVID 19 positive and who has no other way to receive groceries or medications.  For more information, call the sheriff’s office administrative number, 785-828-4657, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

The sheriff encouraged everyone to remain cautious as the stay at home orders are lessened.

“As the governor’s orders for COVID 19 begin to change please continue to use your safety precautions as you are out and about and stay home when you can,” Dunn said.

Osage City Aquatic Center to open according to state’s pandemic phase

OCPR-logo-redOSAGE CITY, Kan. – The city of Osage City and Osage City Parks and Recreation have announced the Osage City Aquatic Center will open for the 2020 summer season June 15 and be open until Aug. 9. These dates are contingent upon the state of Kansas pandemic phasing plan status.

Swim team has been cancelled for this summer. Swim lesson information will be posted in early June, based upon the state’s phase status.

Water aerobic information will be posted when determined.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas