PLUS EVALUATING THE SCHOOL YEAR AHEAD

By William

MCPHERSON – Monday afternoon, the McPherson County Health Department released their latest report regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease within McPherson County. The report included a listing of seven new positive cases of the disease within McPherson County over the weekend.

They also released their comments regarding evaluation of the upcoming school year and what the latest positive test rate percentage was (13.11%).

We also are reminded to remember the updates of the traveling quarantines and the extension of Phase 3 until September 14, 2020.

CASE TESTING POSITIVE since FRIDAY:

The McPherson County Health Department notes that seven new cases have been identified with five of those identified on Saturday and two on Sunday. Several of these are identified as being related to others.

With the three new cases, McPherson County now has a total of 175 overall positive cases to date with those cases considered having met recovery guidelines set forth by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment now standing at 156.

That leaves the total number of current active positive cases within McPherson County at 18, including the seven newest cases.

At this time, the McPherson County Health Department reports that no individuals are currently hospitalized, and we still have only recorded one death.

NEWEST POSITIVE CASES:

  • The first new case identified on Saturday (#169 overall) was a symptomatic male in his 30’s with an exposure from traveling. The subject is currently recovering at home and is a member of the family involving case #170 and #171.
  • The second new case identified on Saturday (#170 overall) was a symptomatic female in her 30’s with an exposure from traveling and is a family member to cases 169 and 171. The subject is currently recovering at home.
  • The third new case identified on Saturday (#171 overall) was a symptomatic female who is 3 years of age and has exposure from traveling while with her family of cases 169 and 170. The child is currently recovering at home.
  • The fourth new case identified on Saturday (#172 overall) was a symptomatic male in his 70’s with an unknown exposure along with family member, case 173. The subject is currently recovering at home.
  • The fifth new case identified on Saturday (#173 overall) was a symptomatic female in her 70’s with an unknown exposure along with family member, case 172. The subject is currently recovering at home.
  • The first new case identified on Sunday (#174 overall) was a symptomatic male in his 60’s with an unknown exposure. The subject is currently recovering at home.
  • The second new case identified on Sunday (#175 overall) was a asymptomatic female who is 18 years old and has an unknown exposure. The subject is currently isolating at home.

REGARDING & EVALUATING THE SCHOOL YEAR:

The McPherson County Health Department is working closely with key partners to evaluate the upcoming school year.

It is the goal of the McPherson County Health Department to continue to keep the community informed.

The percentage of positive cases out of how many McPherson County Residents were tested during a 14-day period will facilitate the McPherson County Health Department Recommendations.

Criteria that will influence the recommendation to move schools to more or less restrictive measures can be found on the www.mcphersoncountyks.us at the home page under “COVID-19: Reopening McPherson County.”

Date that is currently available includes:

  • June 29 to July 12 = a 5.47% positive rate.
  • July 13 to July 26 = a 11.49% positive rate.
  • July 27 to August 9 = a 13.11% positive rate.

UPDATED OVERALL DATA INFORMATION as REPORTED ON FRIDAY, JULY 14:

  • Overall Cases stands at 168 (up 14).
  • Asymptomatic Cases = 17 (up 1)
  • Cases with an unknown exposure = 59 (up 6)
  • Cases involving those 60 years of age and above = 37 (up 2)
  • Cases involving those 50-59 years of age = 24 (no change)
  • Cases involving those 40-49 years of age = 24 (up 1)
  • Cases involving those 30-39 years of age = 21 (up 4)
  • Cases involving those 18-29 years of age = 46 (up 4)
  • Cases involving those under the age of 18 = 16 (up 3)
  • Cases involving females = 96 (up 6)
  • Cases involving males = 72 (up 8)
  • Cases requiring Hospitalization (May not represent current hospitalizations) = 10 (no change)
  • Cases requiring a ventilator (may not represent current ventilated case) = 4 (no change)
  • Cases where individual died = 1 (no change)
  • (The McPherson County Health Department reports that the information that is provided to them via medical records).

(Editor’s Note) While some of the following information may seem repetitious, it is still incredibly important for people to continue reading, processing, and acknowledging the situation and severity of the coronavirus.

UPDATE ON PHASE 3 & GOVERNOR’S MANDATE:

  • PHASE 3 – McPherson County is in Phase 3 of Reopening Kansas. Updated documents can be found on http://www.mcphersoncountyks.us on the home page, under “COVID-19: Reopening McPherson County.”
  • The McPherson County Health Department RECOMMENDS that McPherson County REMAINS IN PHASE 3 at least until SEPTEMBER 14th, 2020. This decision extends PHASE 3 again by two incubation periods and is based off the number of positive cases with unknown exposure and the continuous increase in new cases over the past 14 days, and the recommendation from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
  • The McPherson County Board of Health still RECOMMENDS that all McPherson County Communities still follow the RECOMMENDATIONS from the McPherson County Health Department and the McPherson County Health Officer which includes WEARING FACE MASKS while in public when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained between individuals. Mask wearing CAN & WILL significantly decrease the amount of COVID-19 spread in our communities, both from asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals.
  • The McPherson County Health Department will continue to evaluate the threat COVID-19 poses to our communities.

McPherson County Board of Health (County Commissioners) passed a resolution to opt out of Governor Kelly’s Executive Order 20-52 on July 2nd, 2020.

McPherson County Board of Health recommends the McPherson County communities still follow the recommendations from McPherson County Health Department and McPherson County Health Officer, which includes wearing face masks while in public when 6-foot of distance cannot be maintained

between individuals. Mask wearing can and will significantly decrease the amount of COVID-19 spread in our communities, both from asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals.

McPherson County residents are encouraged to help slow the spread of coronavirus by:

  • Following Phase 3 of Reopening Kansas and McPherson County (as found at mcphersoncountyks.us).
  • Maintaining social distancing.
  • Avoiding gatherings in groups greater than 45 people.
  • WEARING CLOTH FACE COVERINGS or homemade masks WHEN IN PUBLIC!
  • Practicing cough etiquette and washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

SPECIAL NOTE/REMINDER from the MCPHERSON HEALTH DEPARTMENT:

As McPherson County continues to have an uptake an uptake in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases they ask all to continue to remember the following notes and reminders.

The McPherson County Health Department wants to EMPHASIZE that if you are notified by them of being a contact someone who is positive for coronavirus, you MUST QUARANTINE at home for 14 days!

This means that a negative test will not return an exposed person to work/sports/daycare/etc. sooner than 14 days.

If you are a contact, decide to be tested, and it comes back negative you STILL HAVE TO FINISH YOUR 14-DAY QUARANTINE PERIOD because you may become contagious anytime during the rest of the 14 days.

The Health Department does NOT routinely recommend testing contacts unless symptoms arise or a high-risk individual is involved. People who have not had direct exposure to someone with coronavirus do not need to quarantine and are not excluded from work/sports/daycare/etc.

If you are being tested for coronavirus, you are considered a PERSON UNDER INVESTIGATION (PUI).

The PUI MUST ISOLATE while waiting on results.

The PUI should isolate from anyone in their household. If they are not able to isolate away from the household members by staying in their own room, the ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD must quarantine while awaiting results to reduce exposure.

If a person in quarantine does not develop any coronavirus symptoms, then they are released from quarantine at the end of the 14 days.

If symptoms do develop during those 14 days, the person is to contact their primary provider for further evaluation and/or testing. People who have been diagnosed with coronavirus may be released from isolation at the direction of the Health Department when it has been 10 days since the onset of symptoms AND 72 HOURS since symptoms have resolved. This symptom-based method of returning people to work is preferred to a testing-based method of returning people to work because tests can still remain positive long after the virus is no longer active.

They still are emphasizing the recommendation that McPherson County continues to remain in Phase 3 until at least August 17, 2020 from the previous recommendation of July 20.

The new four-week time-period is two incubation periods and will allow communities and businesses to better make their plans for the future.

As always, the McPherson Health Department team, led by Shalei Shea, will continue to collect data and assess the situation in McPherson County.

These recommendation could be shortened or extended based on our local standing and continues to encourage McPherson County residents to continue wearing masks when distancing can’t be maintained, stay home when you are ill, and keep gatherings to 45 or less people when possible.

CURRENT TRAVEL QUARANTINES GUIDELINES:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the McPherson County Health Department have updated their listing of required quarantine after traveling out of state.

They continue to mandate a 14-day home quarantine for anyone in Kansas if you have done any of the following:

  • Traveled within the United States to any of the following states with a known widespread community transmission – –
  • > > Between the dates of June 17-27 to the state of Arizona.
  • > > On or after June 29 to the state of Florida.
  • > > Traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15.
  • > > Traveled internationally to Bahrain or French Guiana between July 14-26.
  • > > Traveled internationally on or after July 14 to countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, including China, Iran, the European Schengen area, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.
  • International travelers must follow the CDC guidance and protocols.

{This McPherson County COVID-19 Update is SPONSORED by CrossDove Writers}

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