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Coronavirus update

Common Questions

 

On July 2, the Board of County Commissioners voted to support Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces. Kansas Governor Executive Order #20-52 also requires masks outdoors when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. There are a number of exemptions. Children 5 and younger will not be required to wear masks when the order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m., on Friday, July 3. Those with medical conditions that prevent mask use will also be allowed an exemption. Businesses open to the public are required to comply with the order.

On June 11, 2020, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted that Johnson County will now follow the voluntary recommendations and guidance in the state’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. This includes the following precautionary measures: washing your hands, staying at home if you are sick, physical distancing from others and wearing a mask when out in public.

More tips to protect yourself and others are listed below. Download this as a pdf.

 

COVID-19, Enforcement

If you are seeking enforcement of the Governor’s Mask Order, please contact the consumer fraud hotline at the District Attorney’s Office: 913-715-3003. DO NOT CALL 911.

COVID-19, General

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.

Yes, there is community spread in Kansas. Similar to how the flu and/or the common cold is spread, this means that it is spread from person to person through coughs or sneezes or by touching contaminated surfaces.

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.

COVID-19 is spread when healthy people are exposed to droplets from a cough or a sneeze from an infected person. Chances of infection increase when a person is closer than about 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes. The virus can also live on surfaces and can be transmitted when people touch surfaces then touch their face or food.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. Use a tissue or a sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your face. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick. Disinfect “high-touch” surfaces (i.e., tables, toilets, light switches, phones, doorknobs) every day with EPA approved disinfectant or diluted bleach (1/3 cup bleach:1 gallon water) or 60% alcohol-based solution. Avoid crowds and groups greater than 10 persons.

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 who is exposed 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).

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.

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 72 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. 

There is no vaccine for COVID-19. At this time, over-the-counter medications (e.g., acetaminophen and ibuprofen and cough and/or cold medicines) can be used to treat symptoms. It is also important to stay hydrated with water and limit caffeinated drinks. If you are unable to stay hydrated, become unable to care for yourself, or begin to have shortness of breath, then you should contact emergency services.

On July 2, the Board of County Commissioners voted to support Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces. Kansas Governor Executive Order #20-52 also requires masks outdoors when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. There are a number of exemptions. Children 5 and younger will not be required to wear masks when the order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m., on Friday, July 3. Those with medical conditions that prevent mask use will also be allowed an exemption. Businesses open to the public are required to comply with the order.

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

You can access the number of cases by zip code on the county's dashboard.

The Community Blood Center is collecting convalescent plasma donations from those who have recovered from coronavirus (COVID-19). CBC will collect, process the plasma for infusion, and maintain a bank for hospitals to treat patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections. Learn more about COVID-19 plasma donations.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools and homes.

It is unknown. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with public health agencies and scientists to learn more about COVID-19.

COVID-19, 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 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.

On July 2, the Board of County Commissioners voted to support Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces. Kansas Governor Executive Order #20-52 also requires masks outdoors when six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. There are a number of exemptions. Children 5 and younger will not be required to wear masks when the order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m., on Friday, July 3. Those with medical conditions that prevent mask use will also be allowed an exemption. Businesses open to the public are required to comply with the order.

This a respiratory virus. The way we contract COVID-19 is through breathing in viral particles. If the virus is on your food and you eat it, the food ends up in your stomach where there’s stomach acid. The stomach acid will kill the virus, and the virus won’t make it to your lungs, where the infection occurs.

COVID-19 Weekly Update

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Hotlines

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

Staffed by school nurses from across Johnson County.
913-715-CV19 (2819)
Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

State Reopening Kansas plan

Child care licensing COVID-19 hotline

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

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF)
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Sunday, 1 - 5 p.m.

Email KDHE or visit coronavirus.kdheks.gov.

COVID-19, Testing

Johnson County residents who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms can schedule a free COVID-19 test at the Department of Health and Environment's Olathe location. Residents should seek testing from their primary health care provider first before making an appointment. Supplies and appointment times are limited.

In addition, JCDHE periodically offers drive-through testing for asymptotic and symptomatic Johnson County residents. We’ll announce future opportunities on jocogov.org as they’re scheduled.

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.

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.

After the specimen is collected, laboratory forms specific to the individual tested will be placed in a plastic biohazard laboratory bag and the specimen will be placed on ice in a cooler. Labels on the specimen itself will be matched to the paperwork to ensure the sample is correctly identified.  Samples collected at the drive thru event will be tracked by JCDHE staff and sent via FedEx to the testing laboratory with a shipping manifest of all samples included in the shipment.

Personal Protective Equipment for droplet precautions will be used. For assisting team members: gloves, gown or disposable lab coat, mask with face-shield or eye protection. For testers: gloves, gown or disposable lab coat, mask with face-shield or eye protection.

Turnaround time for results is approximately 5 – 7 days.

If your test comes back positive, JCDHE will call you to begin an investigation, starting with doing contact tracing for those with whom you have come in close contact. If the test is negative, individuals will be mailed their results.

Johnson County Government is covering all costs for the test.  The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners authorized $400,000 for COVID-19 testing. This includes supplies such as swabs/tubes, courier pick-up, testing, and result reporting.

There is NO public health recommendation that employees must test negative for COVID-19 before returning to work. At this time, anyone who has been ill can return to work if they meet the following criteria: 10 days since onset of symptoms, 72 hours fever-free (without the use of medicine that reduces fever), and significant improvement in symptoms.

Antibody testing can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by helping healthcare professionals to identify individuals who have overcome an infection in the past and have developed an immune response. Antibody testing will definitely add to our knowledge of how much of our population, with few or no symptoms, has been exposed to COVID-19 when it becomes widely available. It will aid the surveillance efforts put in place after dealing with this initial outbreak.

  • In the future, this may potentially be used to help determine, together with other clinical data, that such individuals are no longer susceptible to infection and can return to work.
  • In addition, these test results can aid in determining who may donate a part of their blood called convalescent plasma, which may serve as a possible treatment for those who are seriously ill from COVID-19. In prior viral outbreaks like measles, polio, mumps and influenza, the FDA approved convalescent plasma transfusion as a therapeutic treatment. Individuals with high levels of antibodies could donate plasma for transfusions to treat gravely ill patients.

They are not.

  • In the early days of an infection when the body’s immune response is still building, antibodies may not be detected, limiting the test’s effectiveness for diagnosing COVID-19.  There is also a risk of false positives with antibody testing.