Tag Archives: COVID19

Commissioners exempt Osage County from governor’s statewide mask mandate

County health department reports 120 active cases

LYNDON, Kan. – In a social media post this afternoon, the Osage County Health Department announced that Osage County commissioners had exempted the county from Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide emergency order issued last week requiring Kansans to wear face masks in most public situations. Kelly had issued the order due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases statewide, saying Kansas is facing a crisis with recent “worrying” spikes in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, and stretching the healthcare system’s ability to handle the influx of patients.

Kelly’s order noted that “wearing a face covering in public is the easiest and most effective way to protect each other, ease the burden on our overburdened healthcare system, and help keep our businesses open and our economy running …”

Kelly’s order gave county commissioners until this week to decide to comply with the order, adopt their own order, or exempt the county from the order.

In a resolution approved at today’s meeting of the Osage County Commission, and posted on Osage County’s website, county commissioners ordered Osage County exempt from the governor’s order, citing three reasons:

“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.

“Broad ranging recommendations on safety precautions to fight the potential spread of COVID-19 better serve the public’s overall interests than governmental mandates.

“Opting out of the governor’s statewide executive order gives Osage County flexibility going forward to make recommendations or mandates, if necessary, that best protect the health and safety of Osage County, Kansas.”

While opting out of the governor’s mask order, the commissioners adopted a mask protocol for the county, signed by Osage County Health Director Jackie Patterson, and Fred Diver, commissioner and county board of health chairman.

The county’s mask protocol does not mandate the use of masks, “but recognizes the significance of utilizing them in order to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in the population. Therefore, masks are not mandated, but are strongly recommended in Osage County whenever in any public space indoors, or outside when at least six feet social distancing cannot be maintained.”

The Osage County Board of Health’s protocol also echoes the commissioners’ reluctance to enforce a mask mandate. “While we recognize the significance of face coverings in mitigating the transmission of COVID-19, we find a mandate inherently unenforceable at the county level,” the health board protocol says.

Safe housing options available for those impacted by COVID-19

To help Kansans protect their families and household members, the state is working to provide safe housing options for those affected by COVID-19. Non-congregate sheltering is an option for individuals in multiple communities in the state. Sheltering is available for those who cannot safely isolate or quarantine in their homes and have tested positive for COVID-19, those who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, and those living and working in at-risk or congregate settings.

“The most effective way to slow the spread of the virus is to isolate or quarantine yourself away from others in your household,” said Devan Tucking, human services branch director, Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “These non-congregate shelter options are being provided because we know it is not always possible to isolate or quarantine someone in a single-family residence where people must share a kitchen, a bathroom, laundry room and other spaces.”

Non-congregate shelters are provided in coordination with the Kansas Department of Children and Families, Kansas Division of Emergency Management and local emergency management and public health departments.

At this time shelters are located in the following locations:

  • Ford County, Dodge City
  • Johnson County, Gardner
  • Leavenworth County, Lansing
  • Lyon County, Emporia
  • Saline County, Saline
  • Seward County, Liberal
  • Wyandotte County, Kansas City

The shelter provides free housing, three meals a day and snacks, laundry service, and a cleaning service to provide a safe shelter to avoid exposing households to the COVID-19 virus and help stop the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 infects more than 100 in Osage County in one week

Around 100 new cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed in Osage County in the last week, as Kansas reports record numbers of confirmed cases daily across the state.

As reported by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment today, Nov. 13, 2020, Osage County now has had 306 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. The Osage County Health Department confirmed that five people in Osage County have died from the virus as of Nov. 5, and that day marked 182 cases tallied in the county, including 25 active positive cases and 157 recovered cases. KDHE reported Osage County’s total cases at 206 on Nov. 5, with 100 new cases diagnosed in the last week.

OCHD reported Nov. 10 that the department would not be issuing case counts for the county this week due to being “very busy and short staffed,” while KDHE reported 25 new cases that day – the highest number of diagnosed cases in one day for the county since the pandemic began in March. Last month, the most new cases recorded in a day were six on Oct. 17; the record was broken on Nov. 3 with seven cases recorded; then Nov. 5, 10 cases; Nov. 10, 25 cases; Nov. 11, 16 cases; and yesterday recorded a dozen more.

Osage County is under no health orders regarding COVID-19, as the Osage County commissioners took action in July to reject Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to mandate mask wearing in public spaces statewide and other measures. The Osage County Board of Health’s reasoning for rejecting the governor’s mandates was the few COVID-19 cases in Osage County at the time and little evidence of community spread of the disease, and that enforcement of the mandate would be difficult.

According to state data, Osage County’s coronavirus infection rate remains lower than the state average, with Osage County at 19.19 cases per thousand people, and the state at 39.65 cases per thousand.

When the pandemic began, county officials implemented temperature screening of visitors and employees at the Osage County Courthouse, but that precaution was later abandoned. Several schools or activities have been shut down for extended periods for quarantine purposes since the school year began. In July, the Osage County Senior Center was closed due to being a possible cluster site, but it has since reopened. No clusters have been publicly reported in Osage County. In October, the Osage County Jail reported that a person in custody had tested positive for the virus, but no other jail residents or staff were reported as infected.

Oct. 13, the health department reported the first death in the county from the virus; the person had died in September. Since then four more Osage County deaths have been attributed to COVID-19. One month ago, OCHD reported there had been a total of 124 positive cases recorded in the county since the pandemic began. As of Nov. 5 in Osage County, 2,633 negative tests results had been recorded.

Osage County relaxes quarantine rules for mask wearers

The rate of COVID-19 infection in Osage County has increased to about two per day during the month of October, and as of today, Oct. 23, 2020, Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed that one percent of Osage County’s population has been infected by the disease since March. In its Friday report, KDHE showed Osage County has had 160 confirmed infections since the pandemic began.

While Kansas continues to be designated as a red zone by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which means 100 new cases per 100,000 people per week, Osage County has taken steps to relax its quarantine rules regarding the use of masks.

In July, the Osage County Commission chose to exempt the county from Gov. Laura Kelly’s mask order and other measures, and instead has been managing the emergency locally under guidelines of the local board of health.

Earlier this week, the Osage County Health Department issued new guidelines for the county regulating when quarantine is ordered for people in contact with someone who has been confirmed as COVID-19 infected. In a public notice, the department said people in Osage County who are determined to be in close contact of a person who has a confirmed positive test for COVID-19 may be exempted from quarantine if the positive individual and the close contact were wearing masks at the time of the exposure.

The notice said data collected in Osage County by the health department has noted that no individuals who have been quarantined due to close contact with a confirmed positive case have tested positive for COVID-19, with the exception of household contacts.

The notice outlined the effect of quarantine on people’s lives: “Quarantines greatly affect the livelihood, mental health, and well-being of our citizens. In particular, our youth and families have been adversely affected by quarantines that have forced some schools to close, parents to stay home from work, and important social and sporting events to be cancelled. Without data that supports the need for these quarantines, it is in the best interest of our citizens to review our process.

“When both parties wear a properly fitting mask that has at least two layers (as in school settings currently), data shows that the risk for a close contact to contract COVID-19 is minimal. Osage County is not implementing a mask mandate, but rather asking that when citizens are out in public, especially at any event in which there are many people (such as school, sports activities, riding public transit, or attending social events), that they wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is mainly aimed at schools, where students and staff already wear masks and where quarantines have already caused significant disruption to important life activities. However, this will also benefit anyone else attending any public gathering, attending work, or other social events Osage County.”

The notice said there might still be a need to quarantine an individual due to high risk circumstances even when both parties were wearing a mask.

As of today, KDHE reports that Osage County has had 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases since March 23. OCHD reports there are currently 18 people in the county with active infections, with one of those in the hospital, and 62 people quarantined as of Thursday. Two people from Osage County have been reported as dying from the disease. KDHE reports that 2,543 negative test results have been recorded in the county.

On Sept. 30, KDHE reported Osage County had tallied 114 cases. From July through September, the county added about one new case a day. But from Oct. 1 to today’s total of 160, cases increased at a rate of two per day. Osage County’s population is 15,949.

Statewide there have been 76,230 positive cases, 975 people have died, and 3,584 people have been hospitalized due to the virus.

COVID-19 takes life of Osage County resident

In its latest COVID-19 update, the Osage County Health Department has reported one death in the county has been attributed to the virus.

In a social media post Oct. 13, 2020, the health department said, “There has been a death attributed in part to COVID-19 in a patient from Osage County. This patient passed away last month, and our health department was just notified of the ruling. We are not able to release any other info at this time. Thank you for understanding.”

In today’s COVID-19 update, the department reported that Osage County currently has 11 active cases of the virus, 61 people quarantined, one patient hospitalized, and 113 recovered cases. The department reported that since testing began, the county has tallied 2,248 negative test results.

County officials confirm COVID-19 case at the Osage County Jail

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported this afternoon in a social media post there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 in a resident of the Osage County Jail.

The post said testing for all residents and staff is scheduled to begin tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020.

The Osage County Jail has been in consultation with officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on next steps to address these circumstances. As a result of the consultation with KDHE, the following steps were implemented:

  • The patient with the confirmed case was previously quarantined and will remain quarantined for the next 14 days and will be tested weekly.
  • KDHE will test staff and inmates weekly.
  • Osage County will remain diligent in monitoring other staff and residents for symptoms.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office reported it is working closely with KDHE, Osage County Health Department, and Osage County Emergency Management to make sure Osage County Jail facility remains safe for its employees and residents.

Governor announces personal protective equipment program for Kansas businesses

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that the Kansas Division of Emergency Management has launched a new Business PPE Stopgap program, which provides personal protective equipment to businesses experiencing delays in purchased equipment.

“Businesses in our state have experienced immense challenges since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and they need our support,” Kelly said. “By making sure Kansas business owners have access to the necessary protective equipment when they need it, they can not only protect their employees and customers but also make sure they can stay open for business.” 

Governor encourages flu shots to stay healthy, decrease burden on health care system

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gov. Laura Kelly today, after receiving her flu shot from a Walgreens representative, emphasized that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now more important than ever for all Kansans to get a flu shot.

“Increased flu-related visits to the hospital present challenges for our health care system every year – but will be particularly difficult to cope with while we are in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic,” Kelly said. “I encourage all Kansans to receive a flu shot and protect the health and safety of our communities, while also decreasing the burden on our health care workers, freeing them up to treat patients who have contracted COVID-19.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses during the 2018-2019 flu season, and stopped 3,500 flu-related deaths.

Kelly also expressed her appreciation for all frontline workers issuing flu shots this year.

County seeks committee members to review local businesses’ CARES Act applications

Osage County Commissioners are seeking interested citizens to serve on a committee to review and make recommendations on applications for Osage County’s CARES Act Economic Development Relief Program. The county’s federal CARES Act budget of around $3 million includes $1,050,000 for the economic development relief fund.

Commissioners announced last week that applications were being accepted from businesses for the local relief fund, with grant limitations, conditions, and total grant funds to be announced. See related story here.

Commissioners announced this week in a notice in a local newspaper they would be considering letters of interest from persons interested in serving on the committee, with a deadline of 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, for the letters to be submitted to the county clerk’s office.

Citizens interested in serving on the committee are asked to submit a letter to the commissioners in care of the Osage County Clerk’s Office, by mail to PO Box 226, Lyndon, KS 66451 or delivering it in person.

Applicants must be Osage County residents to be eligible to serve on the committee, and preference will be given to individuals who are not applying for the CARES Act Economic Development Relief Program.

For more information, contact the Osage County Clerk’s Office at 785-828-4812.

Osage County encourages eligible businesses to apply for local CARES Act funds

Osage County has announced it has been allocated money through the federal CARES Act to establish an Osage County Small Business Economic Development Relief Grant Program. The program is to assist with immediate and anticipated needs of existing Osage County small businesses negatively impacted by COV1D-19. Negatively impacted small businesses are defined as those with less than 50 employees.

An application is now available on Osage County’s website, osageco.org, under the CARES ACT INFORMATION link. Interested businesses are instructed to download and complete the application and return it by email to [email protected] or in hard copy to the Osage County Clerk’s office. For more information about completing the application, contact Garrett Nordstrom, Governmental Assistance Services, at 816-805-9183, or email [email protected].

CARES ACT grants can be used to pay for working capital, inventory, wages, utilities, rent, and other expenses. To receive funding distributions, businesses must be willing to share financial information such as invoices and payroll amounts to ensure compliance.

Grant award maximums, further details and deadlines will be available as the program is developed by the Osage County Economic Development Relief Grant Program Committee. All grant funds are to be distributed by Dec. 30, 2020.

Interested businesses are encouraged to submit their applications quickly to be considered for relief funds. These funds are available through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act. 

Applications open for grants to support businesses affected by COVID

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today encouraged Kansas businesses to participate in the application process for more than $130 million in grants to support businesses affected by the pandemic and enable companies to expand broadband access in the state. The portal to apply opens at noon Wednesday, August 19.

The application portal for the SPARK economic development and connectivity grant programs will appear online at kansascommerce.gov/covidrelief.

“This is an opportunity to revitalize our economy and for businesses to receive some necessary relief,” Kelly said. “I strongly encourage business owners to apply first thing Wednesday if they are eligible.”

In addition to providing financial relief, grants will be available to businesses whose products and services will be needed in greater volume to help combat the virus and its effects. Funding is also being made available to expand broadband access both through infrastructure improvements and by partnerships with internet service providers to serve low-income households. These grants are funded through the Coronavirus Relief Fund of the federal CARES Act.

This pandemic has affected each sector differently, with industries having distinct needs. Therefore, applications for grants are being made available in the following categories:

Small Business Working Capital Grants

Kansas businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to apply for Small Business Working Capital grants. Funds can be used to pay working capital expenses such as payroll, rent, mortgage insurance, utilities, inventory, and more. Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis until funds are depleted.

COVID-19 update: Cases on steady rise in Osage County

Senior center set to reopen after precautionary closure

Active cases of COVID-19 are again steadily rising in Osage County, with the health department reporting eight current positive cases yesterday, Aug. 10, 2020, along with 11 people quarantined.

As of yesterday, Osage County Health Department had recorded a total of 45 positive cases since Osage County’s first diagnosed case March 23.

In its Monday report, Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported six of Osage County’s cases have required hospitalization. OCHD reported yesterday there were currently no patients hospitalized, and 37 Osage County patients have recovered from the infection. No deaths in the county have been attributed to the virus.

The health department also reported the Osage County Senior Center would reopen on Aug. 12, after being shutdown July 30 due to a possible cluster of COVID-19 cases. The health department said no new cases have been associated with the senior center. In announcing the closure, the health department said three cases were possibly associated to the senior center. People who visited the senior center anytime between July 20 and July 27, 2020, were asked to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Osage County Senior Center closed due to possible COVID-19 cluster

Editor’s note: The Osage County Health Department issued the following press release Wednesday evening.

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Health Department would like to make the community aware that there have been positive cases identified in individuals who have recently attended the Osage County Senior Center, in Osage City, Kan. There are currently three active positive cases possibly associated with attendance at the senior center, of which two were hospitalized. We are asking people who have attended the senior center anytime between July 20 and July 27, 2020, to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Osage County Health Department staff are in the process of contacting individuals who had direct contact with any positive cases; however, we recommend anyone in attendance on those days to self-quarantine and monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days from the date of their last visit. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, diarrhea, and/or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing. If symptoms develop, please stay home and contact your health care provider or local health department for guidance on testing. In an emergency, please call 911 and notify first responders that you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 and, if possible, wear a cloth face mask before they arrive.

Health Department staff recommends all citizens take precautions to protect themselves and others from contracting the COVID-19 virus. Preventative measures include social distancing, wearing a mask when in public settings, washing hands frequently, and staying home if you are sick or have a weakened immune system. In addition, staying away from large public gatherings, larger cities or travelling to areas that have a high rate of transmission (currently Florida, cruise ships, or international travel) is advised.

COVID-19 update: County experiences weeklong relief

Osage County flattened its COVID-19 curve for the entire third week of the county’s phased reopening. In the first two weeks of July, the county appeared to be on an upward trend as confirmed cases in the county more than doubled, averaging about one new diagnosis a day until last Thursday. County and state officials confirm that Osage County gained no new known cases since last Friday, July 17, 2020.

As reported by the Osage County Health Department yesterday, July 23, Osage County currently has only one positive case, with 31 Osage Countians reported as recovered from the infection. As of 1 p.m. yesterday, there were eight people in the county under quarantine. Since the pandemic began in March, 1,135 negative tests have been recorded from among Osage County residents.

On KDHE’s map of total cases across the state, its number for Osage County, 32, represents a drop from this week’s report of 34 cases July 20.

OCHD explained the discrepancy as an incorrect test result entered into the state system over the weekend. In addition, one positive case was reported as an individual living in Osage County, but the person had moved and contracted the virus afterward.

“This case was originally counted as Osage County’s case, but we have since been notified that the patient will not be our case,” the health department reported in a social media post.

The health department statement also qualified its COVID-19 reporting, saying, “OCHD does NOT intentionally report incorrect numbers. Our numbers come directly from KDHE through the state reporting system. I assure you, our staff has no reason to want more positive cases in our county. Each positive case leads to a significant amount of work in documentation, contact tracing, phone calls, and many other tasks associated with assisting those ill and in quarantine. OCHD is not a testing site, so none of the positives generated are from any testing OCHD has completed.”

During the first week of July, Osage County commissioners exempted the county from Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide mask guidance, and started the county on its last planned phase for reopening after the pandemic shutdown.

For more information about COVID-19 in Osage County, the health department encouraged citizens to call 785-828-3117, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Known COVID-19 cases in Osage County more than double in two weeks

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Osage County, while the state of Kansas has been designated a hot spot for the disease in U.S. In July, the county has recorded more positive cases than in the previous months of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The steady rise in the known positive cases in Osage County comes after county commissioners formally rejected Governor Laura Kelly’s pandemic guidance and reopened the county on July 3, and after the county had some relief during a two-week period, June 9 to June 25, with no confirmed cases.

On July 1, 2020, Kansas Department of Health and Environment records show that Osage County had 15 total known cases since the pandemic began. The latest report from KDHE, dated July 16, shows Osage County now has had 33 total positive, averaging a little more than one new case per day during July.

OCHD reported on social media July 16 that two new confirmed positive cases brought the current active cases in the county to nine people. On that day, 36 people were under quarantine in the county. The county health department reports that 1,038 negative test results have been recorded in the county since testing began.

On July 2, Kelly ordered Kansans to wear masks when inside any public space or in situations where social distancing of six feet cannot be maintained. County commissioners had the option to adopt the measures, modify the measures or reject them. That afternoon, Osage County Commissioners held a special meeting and voted to exempt Osage County from the governor’s order.

OCHD reported the latest known positive cases were a person residing in the north part of the county and another in the south part of the county.

Last week, a document prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force was obtained by national media, which reported that 18 states were named in the report as “red zones,” including Kansas.

State insurance commissioner alerts consumers of improper charges for COVID-19 testing

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt issued a consumer alert today regarding billing for COVID-19 testing. The Department’s Consumer Assistance Division recently became aware of situations in which federal law was not being followed related to COVID-19 testing.

“Providers and health insurers have a responsibility to ensure claims are processed correctly,” Schmidt said. “Kansans should pay special attention to any charges related to COVID-19 testing to ensure they are not improper. If you have been tested for COVID-19 and
have questions about charges, please contact the [insurance department] for assistance.”

Federal law requires COVID-19 testing without cost sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) requirements or prior authorization or other medical management requirements, meaning most consumers should not be billed a separate provider or facility fee for receiving a COVID-19 diagnostic test.

Consumers are encouraged to closely review explanation of benefit statements from their insurer to make certain they do not have a cost sharing responsibility for a diagnostic COVID-19 test.

The Kansas Insurance Department has a Consumer Assistance Hotline, 785-296-7829 or 800-432-2484 to assist consumers who believe they were subject to an improper charge.

COVID-19 update: New infections continue in Osage County

New COVID-19 cases continue to add up at a steady pace in Osage County, as the health department announced today four additional cases confirmed since its July 9, 2020, report. The county has confirmed a total of 29 positive cases since the pandemic began in March.

Osage County Health Department reported July 14, 2020, it is monitoring 11 active cases in the county, with 18 people reported as recovered from the disease. The department reported 49 people currently quarantined, and 1,006 negative tests recorded since testing began.

At least two school districts in the county have temporarily halted summer sports activities this week due to possible student athletes’ exposure to infected individuals.

See related story: USD 456 MdCV announces possible students’ exposure to COVID-19

USD 456 MdCV announces possible students’ exposure to COVID-19

MELVERN, Kan. – As Osage County enters the second week of  the final phase of its pandemic reopening plan, another school district in the county has temporarily halted summer sports activities after a group of students was possibly exposed to a COVID-19 infected individual.

USD 456 Marais des Cygnes Valley School District announced this afternoon, Saturday, July 11, 2020, administrators had been made aware today that a group of students was exposed to an individual outside the school district who later tested positive for COVID-19.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all summer conditioning/workouts have been postponed until Thursday, July 16, 2020. By that time, county health departments will have had the opportunity to perform contact tracing, fully inform the individuals involved and more conclusive information will be available to make potential further decisions. We appreciate your understanding and will continue to keep you updated as much as possible,” USD 456’s statement in a social media post said.

The district later noted drivers education and primary summer school will continue as scheduled.

Last week, USD 434 Santa Fe Trail announced activities at Santa Fe Trail High School, specifically summer weights and conditioning, would be postponed until Monday, July 13, due to possible exposure of student athletes to a person who was infected. The Osage County Health Department later reported a new positive case might have affected an athletic team in the county.

USD 434 provided guidelines for students who plan to resume activities Monday: Maintain six feet of separation, and masks and diligent handwashing encouraged. USD 434 students will undergo symptom and temperature checks by staff members.

USD 434’s latest update noted: “Your student should not attend if they have someone positive in the household, a pending COVID-19 test, have COVID-19 symptoms or fever in the last 72 hours, have known exposure, or have been quarantined.

“According to the CDC, COVID-19 symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.”

At the time of this post, the health department had not yet publicly confirmed the possible contacts at Marais des Cygnes Valley schools.

Health department addresses recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Osage County

Editor’s note: The Osage County Health Department issued the following statement today in regard to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Osage County:

LYNDON, Kan. – The Osage County Health Department would like to make the community aware of a recent increase in positive COVID-19 cases in Osage County. There are currently 10 active positive cases in the county, with 77 people quarantined. To date, Osage County has had 25 positive COVID-19 cases, of which 15 have fully recovered. There are currently no patients hospitalized.

The recent increase has taken place over the last week, prompting the Health Department to issue this alert. (Note the number published by the Osage County Health Department may vary from that published by KDHE due to differences in publication times).

The positive cases and quarantines are mostly confined to the northern part of Osage County, that is, the area north of 205th Street, and including the towns of Carbondale, Burlingame, and Overbrook. In addition, many of the quarantines are a result of community gatherings in which an asymptomatic COVID-19 positive individual was in attendance.

Health Department staff recommends citizens take precautions to protect themselves and others from contracting the COVID-19 virus. Preventative measures include social distancing, wearing a mask when in public settings, washing hands frequently, and staying home if you are sick or have a weakened immune system. In addition, staying away from large public gatherings, larger cities, or travelling to areas that have a high rate of transmission (currently Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, cruise ships, or international travel) is advised.

Osage County residents can stay informed by visiting:
Osage County Health Department Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/osagecohealthdept/
Osage County COVID-19 Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/Osage-County-Covid-19-110249017270887/
KDHE: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus
CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.

—–

For more information about COVID-19 in Osage County, contact the Osage County Health Department at 785-828-3117, [email protected], or 103 E. Ninth St., Lyndon, Kan.

More Osage Countians quarantined: 4 more COVID-19 cases confirmed

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – Osage County recorded four more COVID-19 cases overnight after the county health department announced yesterday a student athletic team in the northern part of the county has been affected by an infected individual.

Osage County Health Department announced this morning the county now has 10 active and 15 recovered cases in the county after announcing yesterday 7 active and 14 recovered. As of today, the health department reports 77 people in the county are under ordered quarantine.

The health department did not report personal details of the newly infected individuals.

The increases in the county come after county commissioners implemented the final phase of the county’s COVID-19 reopening plan and rejected Gov. Laura Kelly’s emergency restrictions order last week.

Osage County COVID-19 cases increase over holiday weekend

LYNDON, Kan. – With yesterday’s online posting of current COVID-19 cases, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Osage County gained four active cases over the weekend holiday and Monday. KDHE reported new cases were confirmed in the county with two on July 3, one on July 4, and one on July 6, and showed the county’s total cases since the pandemic began at 18.

In a social media post yesterday, the Osage County Health Department reported five active cases in the county, with 12 recovered and 60 people under quarantine. Today OCHD’s COVID-19 counter shows five active cases in the county with 14 recovered and 51 people quarantined.

An OCHD social media post today stated, “All new cases have been in the north end of the county. No community spread as of yet is indicated. There have been rumors of exposure to student athletes at Santa Fe Trail. Our investigation has indicated that there wasn’t any exposure to students during the patient’s contagious period, per KDHE protocol. Anyone who is considered a close contact has been notified on all positive cases.”

The new cases follow the Osage County commissioners’ action last week to reject Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan to mandate mask wearing in public spaces statewide. The Osage County Board of Health cited the few COVID-19 cases in Osage County and little evidence of community spread of the disease, and that enforcement of the governor’s mandate to wear masks would be difficult, as reasons for exempting the county.

Kelly’s order went into effect July 3, and requires most Kansans to wear a mask while in public spaces and in places where individuals are unable to maintain social distancing of six feet. During a special meeting July 2, county commissioners made the order to exempt Osage County from the governor’s order, following recommendations from the county health board.

As of Monday, Kansas had recorded 16,901 cases, 1,235 hospitalizations, and 280 deaths from the disease since the pandemic began.

Osage County recorded its first case on March 26; so far the most cases recorded in a single day were three on June 27.

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