Today, the Board of County Commissioners declared March 7 – 13, 2021 as “Heroes Week” in Johnson County. Heroes Week is a way for Johnson County Government to show appreciation to our community partners and county employees for a year of hard work and collaboration in fighting the pandemic in Johnson County. Heroes Week also acknowledges the impact of the pandemic on our community and recognizes its sacrifice and resiliency.
One year ago, March 7 – 13 was the week when COVID-19 officially entered our county with our first few cases. Other milestones that occurred this week included standing up our Emergency Operations Center for its first full day on March 8 to coordinate pandemic response among multiple stakeholders. March 13 was the day a State of Emergency was declared in Johnson County.
Community partners who virtually attended today’s proclamation included representatives of law enforcement, first responder agencies, cities, school districts, health care, and chambers of commerce.
“Working on the COVID-19 pandemic for a year has required strong partnerships and collaboration with multiple community partners,” said Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert. “Whether coordinating efforts with neighboring jurisdictions, partnering on testing sites, assisting with vaccination or helping to communicate to all of our audiences, we have many examples of strong cooperation for the past year.”
In addition to community partners, Johnson County Government employees in all departments, agencies and offices have worked tirelessly for a year to help protect the community from COVID-19, found new and innovative ways to continue providing services and programs safely, put in long hours and performed complex and sometimes life-saving work.
“While all of our workforce has helped mitigate the spread of COVID-19 over the past year, our Emergency Management division, Department of Health and Environment, and Mental Health have all played a huge role in the response and recovery efforts,” said County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson. “Our Facilities Management department allowed us to open buildings safely for the public and worked closely with Human Resources to prevent COVID-19 from spreading through our workforce. Many departments coordinated on communication, technology and customer service, other important components of our pandemic response.”
During Heroes Week, the county will recognize different groups for their heroic service to their neighbors and community during the pandemic. Each day, messages of thanks will be promoted on Johnson County social media pages to express appreciation to the public, county staff, health care workers, first responders and emergency workers, educators, businesses and our city and regional partners. We encourage the public to use #ThankYouJoCo to join in this campaign.
Along with other jurisdictions in the metro area and around the country, Johnson County will light up our Administrative Building in downtown Olathe with blue exterior lights during Heroes Week.