Facebook Social Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Social Icon You Tube Social Icon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Schedule your vaccine appointment

Public Health Order

Fully vaccinated people (2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series [Pfizer or Moderna] or 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine [Johnson &Johnson]) can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

To reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.

You might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if a member of your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends schools continue to follow their school guidance, which includes masking and physical distancing.

On Aug. 5, 2021, the Board of County Commissions (sitting as the Board of Public Health) voted to issue a public health order (health order no. 001-21) aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The order pertains to schools attended by students up to and including sixth grade. Children under the age of 12 are not currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines.

“Additional steps must be taken to reduce the risk of transmission among children under 12 who cannot get vaccinated,” said Chairman Ed Eilert, Johnson County Board of County Commissioners. “Students benefit from in-person learning and the interactions with others in the school setting.”

“We have seen outbreaks with camps, small businesses and childcare establishments. We are also seeing our incident and positivity rates increasing and it is affecting our younger residents/school aged children,” said Dr. Joseph LeMaster, local health officer for Johnson County. “Risk of transmission in schools is high.” 

“The delta variant has unfortunately become the dominant strain in our country and is the most infectious strain of this virus we have encountered so far,” said Dr. Sanmi Areola, director, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “Coupled with the fact that children under 12 are not eligible to get vaccinated, today’s public health order is an appropriate step aimed at keeping our children safe and allowing them to benefit from in-person learning.”

The public health order goes into effect Aug. 9, 2021 and remains in effect until May 31, 2022, unless amended or revoked.

Masks or other face coverings are required for all children inside a school building where any students through and including sixth grade attend class, unless actively eating or drinking.

The order includes children in higher grades who attend school in buildings where children in sixth or lower grades also attend school unless sixth graders are physically separated from higher grades throughout the school day.

The order pertains to schools attended by students up to and including sixth grade. So yes, if a pre-K class is held in a public or private K-12 school building, they would have to wear masks.

Masks or other face coverings are required for all faculty, staff, and visitors while inside a school building where any students through and including sixth grade attend class, unless actively eating or drinking.

Unless otherwise required by the school, children, faculty, staff, and visitors do not need to wear masks when outdoors on school property, including elementary level recess.

All bus riders must wear a mask when riding on a school bus unless documentation has been submitted to the school for a medical mask exemption.

Exemptions include those who:

  • Have a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. 
  • Communicate with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication. 
  • Are engaged in religious services, ceremonies or activities. 
  • Are engaged in activities and athletics inside school buildings, who should follow KSHSAA and/or school guidelines.

This order applies to all public and private K-12 schools within Johnson County.

Quarantine

Drive-thru testing is available by appointment at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment clinic in Olathe. Additional community testing sites are available and can be found at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing.

The state of Kansas and Johnson County will only rely on PCR test results to shorten the quarantine period. The PCR is more reliable than the antigen rapid test. Free PCR tests are widely available in Johnson County.

A close contact is anyone who was within six feet of an infectious individual for a total of 10 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. A person is infectious (can spread COVID-19) starting 48 hours (or 2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.

Individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to show symptoms. Modeling studies show that the risk of transmission after day 10, particularly if an individual has a negative PCR test at least 48 hours prior, is reduced. Additional information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html

Vaccinated persons who are exposed to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine).
  • Have not had any symptoms since the current COVID-19 exposure. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested 3-5 days after their exposure, even they don’t have symptoms and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.

If any of the above criteria are not met, persons should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

*However, if you live or work in a correctional or detention facility or a homeless shelter and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
 

  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 – excluding people who have had COVID-19 within the past 6 months or who are fully vaccinated.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 6 months and recovered do not have to quarantine or get tested again as long as they do not develop new symptoms.
  • People who develop symptoms again within 3 months of their first bout of COVID-19 may need to be tested again if there is no other cause identified for their symptoms.
  • People who have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they have been fully vaccinated against the disease and show no symptoms.

Options for individuals who cannot quarantine for 14 days

There are two options for a shorter quarantine period.

Exposed individuals who have no symptoms of COVID-19 can shorten their quarantine to 7 days if they get a negative result from a PCR test (nasal swab or saliva) taken no earlier than on day 6 of their quarantine. If the test is negative and the person has NO symptoms, the person may resume activities on day 8. If someone chooses not to get tested, they will need to remain in quarantine for 10 days and can resume activities on day 11 if they have NO symptoms.

If someone needs to quarantine and develops symptoms, this individual may NOT test out of quarantine with a negative test result. They must quarantine for 14 days and their symptoms must be improved in order to be released from quarantine.

Anyone who has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and get tested if symptoms develop.

Due to high-risk situations, residents in long-term care facilities, assisted living facilities and prisons are not eligible for the shortened quarantine period.

Passengers traveling within the United States do not need to take COVID-19 test, however, testing is recommended before and after travel, especially if you have symptoms or have been told you were exposed to someone with COVID-19. If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected and do not travel. It’s also a good idea to avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days after your trip, whether you get tested or not.

Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Travel & Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine

Those who have traveled to the following locations need to quarantine upon arrival in Kansas. The length of quarantine varies depending on whether you have been tested for COVID-19. This applies to both Kansas residents and those visiting Kansas. Visit the KDHE COVID-19 website for the current list of locations: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran.

Vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine regarding travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet both of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

People with previous COVID-19 disease are not required to quarantine following travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have evidence of a previous infection supported by a positive PCR or antigen test
  • Are within 6 months following infection. If an investigation was done documenting the date that symptoms resolved, or the date isolation measures were discontinued for asymptomatic patients, then the 6-month period can start from that end date. If those dates are not available, then the period will start from the date of the positive laboratory test. A serology or antibody test may not be substituted for a laboratory report of a viral diagnostic test.
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.

  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
  • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
  • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
  • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.

Business

The risk of contracting coronavirus (COVID-19) from a drive-thru or from carryout is much less than if you were eating in a restaurant. COVID-19 is spread from one person to another through talking and respiratory dropletsby breathing in air when close to an infected person or coming into contact with respiratory droplets. The risk of catching COVID-19 from food containers like cardboard boxes and bags is exceptionally low.

If you are eating at a restaurant, try to eat outdoors where we know transmission of coronavirus is less likely. If you are eating inside a restaurant, make sure the restaurant staff and particularly the servers and people you interact with are wearing masks, because that will help protect you from contracting it if those individuals are spreading the virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention outlines steps you can take before and during a trip to a restaurant to help protect yourself from COVID-19.

This a respiratory virus. Your risk of contracting COVID-19 through your food is low.

Data/Dashboard

Lab results are generally reported to KDHE electronically from laboratories, hospitals, clinics, etc. The results are entered into a database called EpiTrax that local health department and others can access. This is the mechanism with which new cases are identified and reported to both state and local health officials.

EpiTrax is a communicable disease surveillance and outbreak management application that allows multiple jurisdictions to identify, investigate, and mitigate communicable diseases, environmental hazards, and bioterrorism events.

Local health department call positive cases and ask questions about where they have been and who they have been around during their infectious period. People identified in this process are called “close contacts” and are at high-risk for developing COVID-19 because of their exposure to a positive individual. These individuals are notified of their exposure and asked to quarantine for 14 days while watching for symptoms. These actions have the effect of building a “wall” around the infection and preventing the further spread.

The way health officials track this information is in EpiTrax. It is accurate to say that the contacts of positive cases are “epi-linked,” meaning they are connected to one another through some common source, such as a person or place. That way, if close contacts develop COVID-19, JCDHE knows the source of the infection and can use the information to deploy additional mitigation techniques. It is NOT accurate to say that “epi-linked” individuals are included in case counts. These are separate processes.

There are many ways to look at data. Positivity rates, any way they are calculated, is one way to look at data. It can provide an indication of whether adequate testing is going on. It can also be an early indication of increasing rates of infection. No matter how it is calculated, the trends appear to be similar. It tells us the percent of people who tested positive for COVID-19 over the number of COVID-19 tests performed. A high positivity rate can tell us if there is a high level of transmission in the community. It can also tell us if we are testing broadly enough and if testing numbers are down.

As the pandemic has progressed, data has evolved including the importance of various data points. The September 2021 upgrade was the third time the dashboard has been updated.

We have created a Key Community Metrics tab as the first tab with the most important data points for this stage of the pandemic: community risk level, current level and trend information for incidence rate and percent positivity, and vaccination progress. We changed incidence rate and percent positivity from a 14-day to a 7-day to better align with CDC data. We began reporting confirmed and probable cases to better align with KDHE data and provide a more comprehensive picture of COVID-19 in our community. On our Vaccination Progress tab, we added percent of population vaccinated by age group and ZIP code. The Case Demographic Data tab has a slider tool to view case counts within specific timeframes. More detail on these upgrades is available in other FAQS in this section.

Our first tab is Key Community Metrics with the most important data points for this stage of the pandemic. We show whether our county is at a low, moderate, substantial or high-risk level, using indicators from the CDC Level of Community Transmission reporting. You can also see the current incidence rate and percent positivity, along with trend information for those data points. While we have a separate Vaccination Progress tab, we have also included our overall vaccination progress (for fully and partially vaccinated) because we know how important that metric is.

One thing that you may have noticed is that KDHE has often reported more cases than Johnson County. The reason for this is that they include probable cases in addition to confirmed. Probable cases are those that are antigen positive or are close contacts to somebody with COVID-19 who subsequently develop symptoms within 14 days of their last exposure. Up until this time point Johnson County has only been producing numbers for those who test PCR positive (confirmed cases). Now, on our case summary and our case demographic tabs on the new dashboard, you'll be able to toggle between confirmed cases only, probable cases only and all cases. Again, this is being done to reflect the burden of COVID-19 on our community more accurately as well as to align with KDHE numbers.

We still have that demographic data and it is now located on the Case Demographic Data tab. An enhancement is a new slider bar. If you are interested in what have our cases looked like in a specific time period, you can move that bar in the top left-hand corner of that tab to select a specific time period.

Up until the September 2021, Johnson County had only been reporting deaths that have occurred in individuals who are PCR positive. The Office of Vital Statistics at Kansas Department of Health and Environment reviews every single death certificate that comes in. Per CDC and the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists case definition, KDHE is counting deaths that include COVID-19, or SARS-CoV-2 as a contributing cause or significant factor that contributed to the death. We changed our reporting practice to align with KDHE and document all Johnson County residents who have lost their lives to COVID-19.

We moved some of the data to the Key Community Metrics tab. We removed the gating criteria that we use for the 2020-2021 school year as we have adjusted our recommendations around in-person learning for our school districts.

When we originally came out with our metrics there was no national standard as to what should be reported; since that time, CDC has come out with its metrics and we wanted to make sure we aligned with that.

General

A person is generally thought to be infectious, or able to spread COVID-19 to others, up to 2 days before their symptoms begin (or 2 days before their test date if no symptoms) and up to 10 days after their symptoms begin (or 10 days after their test date if no symptoms).

Visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment's Frequently Asked Questions about quaratines for the latest information.

Dr. Joseph LeMaster, Johnson County public health officer, recommends surgical masks or cloth face coverings made with two layers of fabric. 

Surgical masks are disposable masks that have multiple layers of protection. They're the type of masks worn by health care professionals in a clinical setting.

You should wash cloth masks after you wear them in hot water with detergent. Bleach is not necessary to kill the virus on cloth masks.

Surgical and cloth face masks are not tight enough around your face to protect you, but by wearing them, you protect others.

Make sure masks fit securely over your nose. These types of masks are not effective if you pull them down below your nose.

LeMaster does not recommend masks with valves in them, because the valves allow all of the mask wearer's exhalation to exit through the valve.

Children can get COVID-19. Symptoms in children may be very mild, for example a runny nose, sneezing and/or a mild cough. Some children may exhibit no symptoms. Some children can develop severe complications and may require hospitalization.

Children ages 12 and older are now eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. It is recommended those that are eligible get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they can to protect themselves and others against getting COVID-19.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment can test children ages 5 and older during testing clinics. Children ages 5-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. If your child is younger than 5, and you believe they need to be tested, contact your child's physician.

If you're sick, stay home.

If you must attend a gathering and are unvaccinated, stay at least six feet away from other guests and wear a mask. If you can't stay six feet apart, always wear a mask, except when eating and drinking. If possible, hold the gathering outdoors.

Fully vaccinated people (2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series [Pfizer or Moderna] or 2 weeks after a single dose vaccine [Johnson &Johnson]) can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Rather than serving food buffet style where guests use a single utensil to put food on their plates, have someone wear a mask, wash their hands thoroughly and serve the food to each person.

Wash your hands frequently. Use hand sanitizer frequently when soap and water aren't available.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates it is a respiratory disease caused by a new coronavirus first identified in 2019. The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness like the common cold.

COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.

COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.

In severe cases, infection can cause bronchitis, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. From what we know so far, illness seems to be more severe in older individuals and in people with other health conditions.

In general, symptoms usually appear 2–14 days after exposure. CDC is gathering information on whether this novel coronavirus can be spread by people before they show symptoms. At this time, CDC’s guidance is based on the available science, which suggests that the incubation period ranges from 2 to 14 days and that patients are most contagious when they have a fever/symptoms.

 

Anyone infected with COVID-19 can spread it, even if they do NOT have symptoms.

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from inhalation:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart.
  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and improve ventilation.

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from splashes or sprays:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Stay 6 feet apart.
  • Avoid crowds.

To protect yourself against getting COVID-19 from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth:

  • Get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands.

Anyone who is exposed to COVID-19 may become infected. Traveling to an area with widespread transmission of COVID-19 increases your risk.

High-risk persons include older adults and people who are immunocompromised and/or have severe chronic medical conditions (e.g., heart disease, diabetes, lung disease).

A MILD case of COVID-19 causes mild fever, headache, body aches and cough. A SEVERE case of COVID-19 causes fever, cough and shortness of breath (i.e., difficulty breathing while doing daily activities, going up stairs, walking, eating, bathing, sleeping, talking, etc. and is NOT related to a previous health condition). Some patients may develop pneumonia. Symptoms appear two-14 days after exposure.

Johnson County recommends all symptomatic individuals be tested for COVID-19. Drive-thru testing is available by appointment at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment clinic in Olathe. Additional community testing sites are available and can be found at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing

If you get sick, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recommends you isolate at home for 10 days after the onset of symptoms, until you are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication, and until you have a significant improvement in symptoms.

For detailed information about what to do if you're sick, including when to see a doctor and how to protect others from becoming sick, see this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NO. Being exposed to COVID-19 is not an emergency. Call your healthcare provider to discuss your exposure and symptoms. Do NOT go to your healthcare provider office or clinic until after you have spoken with someone in the office or clinic.

Testing

The FDA is reminding the public of the limitations of COVID-19 antibody, or serology, testing and providing additional recommendations about the use of antibody tests in people who received a COVID-19 vaccination.

Antibody tests can play an important role in identifying individuals who may have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and may have developed an adaptive immune response. However, antibody tests should not be used at this time to determine immunity or protection against COVID-19 at any time, and especially after a person has received a COVID-19 vaccination.

The FDA will continue to monitor the use of authorized SARS-CoV-2 antibody tests for purposes other than identifying people with an adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 from a recent or prior infection.
 

If your test comes back positive, JCDHE will send your result via email if you were tested through JCDHE if you provide verbal consent. Soon after, JCDHE will call you at the number you provided to begin a case investigation. JCDHE attempts to call all persons with positive test results to begin a case investigation.

If your test result is negative, JCDHE will email your result if you provide verbal consent when tested through JCDHE. If you don't provide verbal consent for email, you will receive a letter in the mail with your negative test results.

Test results are available within 1 to 2 business days. Test results will be sent via email if you provide verbal consent. Check your email account’s spam/junk folder if you have not received your results within 4 business days. Do not call our office for test results as this delays the process. If your test is POSITIVE and you choose not to receive your results via email, you will receive a phone call at the number you provided when you scheduled your appointment. If your test is NEGATIVE and you choose not to receive results via email, you will receive a letter in the mail at the address you provided when you scheduled your appointment.

Cars will be instructed to keep windows rolled up until they pull up next to a testing station. A team member delivers prelabeled lab form, media and swab to the testing station. Drivers will be instructed to roll down their windows and keep their head inside the car. JCDHE staff will ensure that all infection prevention & control steps are followed including hand hygiene before and after the procedure and before and after the sample collection.

JCDHE staff will be responsible for collecting the specimen samples and information (name, DOB, address, gender, occupation, race/ethnicity, and information about symptoms) from the individuals being tested. Johnson County is entering into a contract(s) with laboratories to provide testing materials, receive samples, analyze specimens and report the results.

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 

The CDC recommends that all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, get tested 3–5 days after travel and stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days after travel, even if their test is negative. Travelers who don’t get tested should stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. Travelers who test positive or develop symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate and follow public health recommendations. It’s also a good idea to avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days after your trip, whether you get tested or not.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Travel & Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine

Those who have traveled to the following locations need to quarantine upon arrival in Kansas. The length of quarantine varies depending on whether you have been tested for COVID-19. This applies to both Kansas residents and those visiting Kansas. Visit the KDHE COVID-19 website for the current list of locations: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/175/Travel-Exposure-Related-Isolation-Quaran.

Vaccinated persons are not required to quarantine regarding travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet both of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

People with previous COVID-19 disease are not required to quarantine following travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have evidence of a previous infection supported by a positive PCR or antigen test
  • Are within 6 months following infection. If an investigation was done documenting the date that symptoms resolved, or the date isolation measures were discontinued for asymptomatic patients, then the 6-month period can start from that end date. If those dates are not available, then the period will start from the date of the positive laboratory test. A serology or antibody test may not be substituted for a laboratory report of a viral diagnostic test.
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

COVID-19 Videos

Podcast

Register for COVID-19 e-newsletter

Need help coping?

Connect with us on social media

Questions or concerns?

If you have questions about Johnson County’s public health recommendations, email [email protected].

If you have virus-related questions, call the Johnson County Community COVID-19 Hotline.

Staffed by public health professionals.
913-715-CV19 (2819)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Child care licensing COVID-19 hotline

913-477-8361
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.