Johnson County revokes COVID-19 resolutions to align with national end to emergency declaration

Closeup of a COVID virus particle

Two Johnson County COVID-19 resolutions will come to an end soon. The local resolutions will end with the national emergency declaration, which is set to end on May 11, 2023, but may end earlier. The Board of County Commissioners revoked both resolutions during its business session on Thursday, March 30.

On March 13, 2020, then Chairman Ed Eilert issued a declaration of state of local disaster emergency for Johnson County, Kansas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration was extended for 60 days, then extended indefinitely. Thursday’s board action sets up Johnson County’s emergency declaration to end when the national COVID emergency order is terminated. This ensures the county continues to have access to eligible assistance, while available.

“Maintaining the declaration has allowed Johnson County to continue to request and receive critical resources from the state and federal government,” said Dan Robeson, deputy director of Johnson County Emergency Management. “It also helped ensure those needing assistance in the county remained eligible for available state and federal emergency aid.”

At Thursday’s meeting, the BOCC also rescinded a resolution, adopted on April 29, 2021, establishing public health recommendations to slow and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Johnson County, Kansas with exceptions. This resolution will also expire when the national COVID emergency order is terminated, with the exception of two recommendations the county will continue to recommend.

‘’The response to COVID-19 certainly looks different now compared to the early months of the pandemic, but COVID-19 is not over as we continue to see people sickened by virus in the county,” said Charlie Hunt, interim director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment. “We are going to continue to do our job in public health and provide recommendations and guidance to the public not only on COVID-19, but other respiratory diseases as well.”

Johnson County will continue to recommend eligible individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19. The county will also continue to recommend individuals, businesses and organizations follow the current and continuing guidance and recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Johnson County Local Health Officer to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson County departments and agencies worked tirelessly to provide residents with necessary resources and services during its emergency response period. In 2021 and 2022, DHE administered 158,763 COVID-19 vaccinations as well as:

  • Offered nine mass COVID-19 testing sites that administered more than 5,300 tests
  • Distributed 6,367 at-home tests from a drive-thru service at the Olathe Health Services Building site
  • Planned and implemented 150 community COVID-19 vaccination clinics
  • Distributed 89,330 at-home tests to JOCO libraries and other community sites

The Division of Emergency Management distributed more than 25.4 million units of personal protective equipment consisting of gloves, N95 masks, disinfectant wipes, disposable gowns, face masks, face shields, cloth masks, coveralls, disinfectant spray bottles and hand sanitizer bottles.

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