July 2020

Masks are mandated, historic number of election ballots are mailed

(July 2) The Board of County Commissioners held a special meeting to consider a Kansas Governor Executive Order #20-52, regarding a requirement to wear face masks in public settings. After more than two and half hours of discussion and public comment, the board voted to support the mask requirement. The vote did not include an expiration date for Johnson County other than when the executive order itself expires or is rescinded.

(July 10) Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order No. 20-55, which states that Kansas residents who purchased a new or used vehicle after January 1, 2020 through May 31, 2020, would have an extended period to register their vehicle.  Temporary 60-day permits were further extended for these purposes. The new order provides staggered deadlines for newly purchased vehicles.  
Also, on this day Shawnee Mission Park Beach was closed for two weeks, after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. 

(July 14) The Kansas Division of Emergency Management released a supply of non-medical PPE to Johnson County Government for distribution to businesses and community organizations. The county secured a warehouse and staff and began fulfilling requests on July 15. 

(July 15) The Johnson County Election Office mailed ballots for the August primary election to more than 90,000 voters in the county. The number of ballots mailed surpassed the total number of votes cast in the 2016 (78,653), 2012 (64,459), and 2008 (77,875) primary elections.

(July 23) Amid the unparalleled economic impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, Johnson County announced it had maintained the top AAA bond ratings with stable outlook from all three major rating agencies: Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service. Johnson County is one of only 42 counties out of more than 3,000 counties in the nation to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.

(July 24) Regional health officers and directors in the Moetro released a joint letter to the community outlining concerns about the increase in COVID-19 cases in the Kansas City metro. It urged compliance with safety precautions, such as mask wearing, physical distancing and good hand hygiene, so further restrictive actions will not be necessary.

(July 28) JCDHE released public health recommendations for K-12 schools to help families and school districts make decisions about the reopening of schools in Johnson County. These recommendations were the result of collaboration between JCDHE and county school districts. They outlined recommendations for learning modes, based on COVID-19 transmission in the community. County and district leaders agreed to meet the week of Aug. 17 to review data and make final decisions about the learning mode to begin the 2020-2021 school year. 

(July 30) JCDHE hosted a Facebook Live public health town hall on the department’s recommendations for school reopening criteria. Present were: Dr. Sanmi Areola, director of JCDHE; Elizabeth Holzschuh, JCHDE director of epidemiology and Megan Foreman, JCDHE program manager. This forum outlined the recommendations and answered questions from parents and caregivers about the school reopening gating criteria released on July 28.