Tag Archives: COVID19

Osage County reports 6th COVID-19 case

17-year-old female, family members quarantined

The Osage County Health Department reported in a social media post yesterday, May 11, 2020, that Osage County has identified a new positive COVID-19 case, the sixth case for the county.

The post said health department staff is currently in contact with the patient, a 17-year-old female. She is in quarantine, along with close family contacts, the department reported.

The post said investigation of contacts with the individual continues, and anyone who has been in close contact with the person will be contacted by the health department.

The current case brings the total to six for Osage County, with five individuals reported to have recovered from the virus.

The health department also reported 41 new negative tests and two individuals quarantined over the weekend.

Attorney general to review state’s use of criminal law to enforce emergency orders

TOPEKA – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today said his office has been asked for its formal legal opinion on whether a state law that authorizes criminal prosecution of Kansans who violate emergency orders issued by the governor is constitutional and enforceable. The attorney general issued the following statement:

“I continue to encourage all Kansans to follow the recommendations of public health professionals to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as our economy and communities reopen. At the same time, a local prosecuting attorney has requested our office review whether violations of emergency orders issued by the governor may lawfully be enforced and punished as crimes. We have agreed to conduct that legal review.

“An unprecedented 27 statewide emergency executive orders have been issued in the past eight weeks on subjects ranging widely from stay-home, mass gatherings and business closures to alcohol sales, evictions and trash collection. The Kansas constitution grants the legislature, not the governor, power to define what behavior may subject Kansans to potential arrest, criminal prosecution, fines or imprisonment. No appellate court has determined whether the legislature, through provisions of the Kansas Emergency Management Act, has lawfully delegated that power to the governor. Even if delegation is generally permissible, we have been asked specific legal questions that could affect the ability of law enforcement and prosecutors to criminally enforce emergency orders under authority of K.S.A. 48-939. We are working diligently and will issue our formal legal opinion on these important questions as soon as possible.”

Flint Hills Technical College plans for upcoming summer, fall semesters

EMPORIA, Kan. – Flint Hills Technical College President Dean Hollenbeck has outlined the college’s plans for upcoming summer and fall semesters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our primary goal is to continue to provide quality hands-on education while keeping all of our students and employees safe,” Dr. Hollenbeck said. “We are communicating regularly with the Lyon County Health Department and working collaboratively with them to determine best practices moving forward.”

The majority of Flint Hills Technical College summer courses will be moved to an online format, beginning May 26, 2020. Some programs will be meeting in a face-to-face format to complete hands-on components and certifications for these programs. Students will receive notification from their program instructor with additional information.

All those on the FHTC campus will be adhering to the social distancing guidelines from the Lyon County Health Department including six-feet spacing, wearing masks, and frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer.

Courthouse reopens for business; citizens subject to COVID-19 screening at doorway

The Osage County Clerk’s Office has issued a press release announcing the county’s health department, noxious weed department, transfer station and recycling center are now open regular hours.

The release said the Osage County Courthouse will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. as of May 4, 2020. Courthouse visitors will have their temperature taken and be asked a series of travel questions. Two visitors per office will be allowed into the offices to conduct business. Driver’s license services are currently not available but tags can be renewed by appointment only. Some county services may be limited due to state support being unavailable.

The release said all offices and departments are following COVID-19 protocol and practicing social distancing.

Senior center plans for reopening; thrift sale items sought

The Osage County Senior Center is looking forward to reopening to the public, likely by June 1, 2020, if not before, center director Tammy Fager reports.

Reopening has begun with scheduling of some events, including a tentative date set for the center’s thrift sale on July 17.

The center is currently accepting donations of items for the sale, and staff is available at the center 8 a.m. to noon weekdays. For afternoon donations, contact the center and arrangements can be made to have someone available to accept the items.

The thrift sale will depend on whether enough donated items are received to hold a sale.

For more information, contact Fager at the senior center, 785-528-1170, or 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.


ECAT opens food pantry for drive-up service

ECAT’s food pantry will be open for drive-up service 1-3:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the month of May.

Clients are asked to pull up to the front door and honk; someone will come out and take their information. Food boxes will be made depending on family size and delivered at recipient’s vehicle.

Recipients must live in USD 420. ECAT’s pantry service is available only for food at this time.

Ecumenical Christian Action Team is at 306 S. Martin St., Osage City, Kan.

Lyndon Library implements reopening plan; limited services begin May 11

Lyndon Carnegie Library is implementing a plan to reopen in phases, with this week being phase one and the library remaining closed for preparations.

In phase two, beginning Monday, May 11, 2020, the library building will remain closed, but librarians Genea Reynolds and Sharon Culley will provide curbside service 1- 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Items may be requested by phone at 785-828-4520, or placed on hold through the NEXT system, available at www.lyndonlibrary.org. Holds can only be for local holdings only, as the courier service will not be running until June 1.

At the library bagged returns will be accepted at the book drop after hours, or in the tub on the table at the top of the ramp. Anyone needing someone to come to your vehicle or house for pick up or delivery is asked to call 785-828-4520. All returns will have a 72-hour hold for cleaning before returning to the catalog. There will be no fines on returns. For other services, call the library for information.

Phase two is set to last until June 1, the tentative start date for phase three of the reopening plan. Phase three is expected to open the library on a limited basis, with a limit on the number of patrons in the library at one time and computer use requiring scheduling.

ECKAN hosts free diaper, wipes, formula distribution

ECKAN Osage County Center will be a distribution point for free diapers, wipes and formula 9-11 a.m. Thursday, May 7, 2020. The free event is hosted by ECKAN in cooperation with Lifecare Center, which will have a bus in front of the ECKAN office at 530 Holliday St., Osage City, Kan. For more information, contact ECKAN at 785-528-5184 or [email protected].

Osage City reopens recycling collection station

Osage City’s recycling station is back in operation as of Monday, May 4, 2020. The recycling collection point is at Osage City’s street department at 216 S. Ninth St.

Thank you signs help fund local pandemic relief efforts

An ongoing fundraiser for the The Greater Emporia Disaster Relief Fund is the sales of “thank you” signs for windows and yards.

The Greater Emporia Disaster Relief Fund was recently organized to support the needs of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Promoting the fund as a donation hub is one way all organizations and individuals in the multi-county region can support local disaster relief efforts during the pandemic. The goal of the collaboration is to provide conduits for donations and for support of nonprofit organizations or businesses, and to collectively help the region weather the impacts of the pandemic.

An ongoing fundraiser, by Emporia Main Street and KVOE, is selling yard and window signs to help raise money for the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund.

The signs say thank you to “Hometown Heroes” and are 24 inches by 18 inches and printed in full color on both sides. Proceeds from sign sales will go to the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund for COVID-19 support. In Osage County, orders placed by noon May 4, 2020, will be available for pickup at Osage Garden and Produce, Osage City, on May 8.

To order signs online, see emporiamainstreet.com. Indicate your pickup location when ordering.

The fund is also accepting donations and donors can designate their donation to be used only in Osage County. Donors are also reminded that if they make a $300 or less charitable donation, the CARES Act allows for up to $300 per taxpayer ($600 for a married couple) in an above-the-line deduction for charitable gifts made in 2020 and claimed on taxes in 2021.

SOS 24/7 Helpline and services are still available

Most of us are safe at home, but for some, home is not a sanctuary, it is a prison. Many adults and children are trapped in homes with abuse, rape, violence and neglect. Due to COVID-19, these situations have escalated. Local law enforcement has shown a 50 percent increase in 2020 compared to this same time last year. These victims have limited access to resources and contacts outside of their home. They are likely unable to call for help because their abuser is always nearby.

These facts help to describe the scale of this threat:

  • 34 percent of people who sexually abuse a child are family members of the child.
  • In 74 percent of the cases of Kansas children removed from their home and placed in foster care in 2019, the primary reason was abuse or neglect.
  • 1 in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year (90 percent are eyewitnesses).
  • 1 in 3 female and 1 in 20 male murder victims are killed by an intimate partner.
  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner.
  • 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the U.S.

At SOS, we are doing our best to continue our services while focusing on the health and safety of everyone involved. We are continuing to staff our 24/7 Helpline, 800-825-1295, to connect victims with advocates for safety planning, protection orders and resources. Our domestic shelter is continuing to house clients as needed. SOS CASA of the Flint Hills staff is available, and our CASA volunteers continue their advocacy while practicing physical distancing. The Child Visitation and Exchange Center is offering virtual supervised visits and our CAC is still conducting child disclosure interviews with a few additional health precautions in place.

Osage County has fifth confirmed COVID-19 case

62-year-old man infected; possibly connected to out of county outbreak

OSAGE COUNTY, Kan. – The Osage County Health Department reported today, April 22, 2020, a fifth case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Osage County.

The individual who tested positive for the virus is a 62-year-old male, and is reported as doing well.

A social media post from OCHD said the individual has been in quarantine since his symptoms began, and information gathered so far indicates this case is connected to an outbreak outside of Osage County.

The health department continues to investigate and is working in conjunction with another county health department on the case. OCHD’s post said that people who have been in contact with the individual will be contacted directly by the health department.

With today’s confirmed case, Osage County currently has one known active positive case and four known recovered cases.

The health department encourages people to continue to wash their hands frequently, practice safe social distancing, stay at home except for essential outings, and practice good hygiene.

e.b. Sprouts and Flowers: Now open with adjusted hours; it’s time to garden!

At e.b. Sprouts and Flowers, we are now open with adjusted hours:

Monday-Friday 1-5:30 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Call 785-828-4116

We are practicing social distancing as much as possible. Open air market in the back or call in for curbside. It’s time to garden!

We have new pottery, annuals, hanging baskets, herbs and veggie starts, as well as soil amendments, mulch and much more! And as always cool home and yard decor for you and your bird friends.

Call or come by! Thank you for your business!

e.b. Sprouts and Flowers is at 520 Topeka Ave., Lyndon. Call 785-828-4116, email [email protected], or visit www.ebsprouts.com.

Osage City Golf Course to reopen clubhouse

The Osage City Golf Course will reopen its clubhouse for business on Saturday, April 18, 2020, after having closed in response to the pandemic.

From golf course management: “We will adhere to the restrictions set forth to keep everyone safe. You may not come into the clubhouse. Come to the west side door and we will serve your needs from there. The driving range will continue to be closed. Restrooms will be available but only one at a time may come in. You may rent a cart, but only one to a cart unless you are from the same family.”

Hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting.

Call ahead for a tee time or if you have questions. Call clubhouse manager Janis Campbell at 785-219-2245 or the course at 785-528-3329.

Let’s all stay safe and play some golf.

Partners announce formation of Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund

EMPORIA, Kan. – The Emporia Community Foundation, Emporia Main Street, KVOE, and United Way of the Flint Hills have announced the creation of the Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund. The four partners joined forces to broaden the reach of the existing Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund to support the needs of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in Chase, Coffey, Greenwood, Lyon, Morris, Osage, Wabaunsee, and Woodson counties surrounding COVID-19 relief.

Of the collaboration, United Way Executive Director Mickey Edwards said, “One of the things I love most about our community is our willingness to come together and support those in need. The collaboration of the nonprofit and for-profit communities joining forces in this way demonstrates that perfectly. The United Way is eager to be a part of disaster relief efforts. We are proud to be able to serve our community when needed.”

As one of the creators of the original Lyon County Disaster Relief Fund, KVOE saw the need, and worked with Emporia Main Street to start the fund to help with COVID-19 relief. “KVOE’S Live and Local mission is to serve our community, so we are excited to collaborate with Emporia Main Street, the Emporia Community Foundation and the United Way,” said Ron Thomas, general manager of KVOE. “The Greater Emporia Area Disaster Relief Fund will be able to help many in need during this difficult time and beyond.”

All donations will be used to help respond to COVID-19 in the region. The Emporia Community Foundation, where the funds will be held, is waiving administrative fees for the fund.

Consumer Alert: Beware of new coronavirus text message scam

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is urging Kansans to use caution against a new text message scam involving COVID-19. The text message scam, as reported to the attorney general’s office, reads:

“Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested.”

The text then contains a link to a website for more information. Consumers are advised to not respond to the message, nor click on the bogus website link.

“The situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak has created a new avenue for scammers to take advantage of the public’s apprehension and uncertainty,” Schmidt said. “We’ve received numerous complaints regarding different types of scams, but this one was particularly egregious for attempting to mislead those targeted into thinking they might have contracted the virus. Anyone who receives this message should not respond, and instead contact our office or appropriate local authorities for help.”

Schmidt said as of yesterday his office has received reports of numerous COVID-19-related scams circulating in Kansas. Other coronavirus scams reported include sales of bogus products advertised as coronavirus prevention measures or treatments, as well as scammers impersonating federal, state or local government officials.

Dance Spot offers free online dancing adventures

The Dance Spot, of Alma and Burlingame, is offering all dancers young and old free online dance classes.

“During this crazy time we want our families to save their money for life’s essentials – so we are not charging anything to our dance families, no monthly fees, no hidden costs. We are also giving our competition families refunds or credits to future dance competitions as the events let us know.

“We use our online dance classes for more about fun unique and funny moments we can still share with our dancers. We love them so much and miss them terribly so our goal is to stay connected even if it’s just for a day of stretching hilarious stuff, laughter is the best medicine during this crazy time, so enjoy the fun and join us.”

Governor Kelly revises mass gatherings guidance to include religious services

As part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, today Governor Laura Kelly rescinded Executive Order #20-14 and replaced it with Executive Order #20-18, which primarily brings our religious institutions and religious and non-religious funerals in line with the previous order that limited public gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

Although religious institutions and funerals previously were exempt from this 10-person limit, they now will need to comply with this rule, effective at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday.

“As Holy Week gets underway – and with Kansas rapidly approaching its projected peak infection rate in the coming weeks – the risk for a spike in COVID-19 cases through church gatherings is especially dangerous,” Kelly said. “This was a difficult decision, and not one I was hoping to have to make.

“But I’ve said repeatedly during this crisis that we will adjust to circumstances as they develop to make sure we do everything we can to protect Kansans.”

E.O. #20-18 does not ban religious gatherings or funerals. Instead, both conducting and attending religious services and funerals remain designated “essential functions” and cannot be prohibited by local orders. However, gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals at a time and clergy, staff and attendees must adhere to appropriate safety protocols as outlined in the statewide stay-home order – including social distancing, hygiene and other efforts.

“I encourage all faith leaders to embrace alternative forms of worship that do not involve in-person congregation,” Kelly said. “Churches are livestreaming services and bringing their parishioners together over Facebook Live for Bible Study. They also are looking for alternative ways to observe their rituals.”

Help House continues operations under temporary procedures

By Raylene Quaney

Help House will be changing operational policies due to recommendations from Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Kansas Department of Aging and Family Services regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Help House executive board of directors has initiated the following procedures to be in place until at least May 15, 2020. Dates and procedures may change if current recommendations change or construction begins on the Help House parking lot.

Each family will need an appointment for food pantry shopping or emergency assistance. To schedule an appointment, call 785-828-4888 during open hours.

Help House will only be open to distribute food and emergency assistance.

Donations of food and monetary gifts will continue to be accepted. Receiving all other items is suspended until after this designated time period.

During this designated time period, Help House hours will be extended as follows: 4-8 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.

Help House volunteers will take food pantry orders at curbside (no need to leave the vehicle).

Volunteers will fill the food orders and deliver to vehicles to be loaded. Assistance is available as needed.

At this time the mobile pantries are still set for their regularly scheduled dates:

  • Carbondale, 12-1 p.m. April 14, Church of Christian Fellowship.
  • Lyndon, 12-1 p.m. April 17, Jones Park.
  • Osage City, 10-11 a.m. April 16, Osage City Community Center.
  • Melvern, 12:30-1:30 p.m. April 16, Melvern Community Center.
  • Burlingame, beginning at 10 a.m. April 16.

KDEM to distribute Kansas’ portion of Strategic National Stockpile this weekend

TOPEKA, Kan. – FEMA has delivered Kansas’ portion of the Strategic National Stockpile and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management will coordinate distribution of these critical resources to all 105 counties beginning this weekend to help communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Strategic National Stockpile is the nation’s largest supply of potentially life-saving pharmaceuticals and medical supplies for use in a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out.

The equipment included in the stockpile are: N95 masks, surgical masks, face shields, surgical gowns, and gloves.

The Kansas National Guard and the Kansas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol will distribute these materials throughout the state based on each county’s population. Hospitals and local jurisdictions are encouraged to continue to work with their vendors and order needed supplies.

“We know more supplies will be needed and we are aggressively seeking vendors nationwide and have established contracts for more personal protective equipment,” said Angee Morgan, alternate Governor’s authorized representative, Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “This is a combined response effort between federal, state and local jurisdictions and we appreciate everything local leaders and communities are doing.”

There are many ways people can contribute to these efforts, including: Purchase only what is needed for your household and please do not stockpile supplies; there is an urgent need for blood. Go to http://www.savealifenow.org/ to sign up to donate blood; follow local, county and state response guidelines.

Higher Power Health & Yoga schedules online classes

Higher Power Health & Yoga is now holding yoga classes online, either via Zoom or Facebook Live. Everyone is welcome to join.

Our Facebook page is Higher Power Health & Yoga. You can also visit our website for the schedule and other information: www.higherpowerhealth.net

Wishing everyone health and safety,

Michelle Robert, Owner
Higher Power Health & Yoga, Osage City, KS

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