Positive cases on the rise
The number of positive cases of the novel coronavirus – COVID-19 – is continuing to increase significantly in the State of Kansas and throughout the entire United States. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, there are 57 out of 105 Kansas counties with confirmed cases. Nemaha and Brown counties still have no confirmed COVID-19 cases.
In the past week, the number of cases has increased more than double in the State of Kansas. Last week at this same time, there were 428 confirmed cases in Kansas. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, there are 900 positive cases in Kansas, with 491 of the patients being female, 406 being male and three cases are not reported. Currently, there have been 27 deaths in Kansas, up from the nine deaths reported one week ago.
To see a full list of Kansas counties with COVID-19 cases, visit https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, April 7, there are a total of 374,329 confirmed cases in the United States, which have resulted in 12,064 deaths.
The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread of the virus is most likely between people who are in close contact with one another – within about six feet.
The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus, and the goal right now — across the community, state and nation — is to minimize the spread, or “flatten the curve.”
According the Sabetha Family Physician Dr. Christian Tramp, they continue to evaluate suspicious patients and are ordering coronavirus testing as indicated.
“Based on the best prediction models, the peak in Kansas is supposed to be about two to three weeks from now, with daily increases until then,” Dr. Tramp said. “Thereafter, the numbers will lessen but not return to our current state of new infections for another two to three weeks. So at the very least, we are looking at another four to six weeks of definite COVID activity and risk for this first round. What that means locally for us in our rural setting is unknown, but we are hopeful that our social distancing will have a big impact.”
Jane Sunderland with Nemaha County Community Health Services emphasized that it’s extremely important to “not let up” on social distancing.
“It’s crucial that people stay home as much as possible and separate themselves from others that don’t live in their household,” Sunderland said. “These measures are absolutely necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout our community. It is also very important that people keep a distance of six feet from others when needing to leave the home to perform an essential activity, such as picking up food and medicine; seeking medical care; engaging in an outdoor activity with no more than 10 persons gathered; and providing care for people or animals in another location.
“The Kansas Department of Health and Environment advised last week that people can be infectious with the COVID-19 virus up to 48 hours before they start to show symptoms,” Sunderland said.
Currently, the KDHE is mandating a 14-day home quarantine for Kansans who have traveled to certain areas. As this information is constantly changing, please see the KDHE website — www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus — for updated mandates.
To protect yourself and others, the following guidance is provided by the CDC: wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow; throw used tissues in the trash; clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily; if surfaces are dirty, clean them; put distance between yourself and other people; avoid close contact with people who are sick; stay home if you are sick, except to seek medical care; if seeking medical care, call ahead – allowing medical personnel to prepare for proper personal coverings, assistance and placement of the patient upon arrival; and if you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people.
To prepare for a potential situation in which you are unable to obtain medicine, food or supplies: shop with a purpose and aim for a seven- to 14-day supply of medicine, food and household supplies; make sure your prescriptions are stocked and up to date; and create a supply kit that includes water or hydrating drinks, non-perishable food and fever reducers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Patients with COVID-19 have experienced mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Symptoms can include, but are not limited, the following: fever higher than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, cough and shortness of breath.
If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, seek medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs include the following: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion or inability to arouse; and bluish lips or face.
Sabetha Family Practice
Sabetha Family Practice now has the capability to perform telehealth visits at the patient’s request.
Sabetha Community Hospital
The processes at Sabetha Community Hospital have not changed since last week.
Seneca Family Practice
Seneca Family Practice now has the availability of telehealth visits with their patients.
Nemaha Valley Community Hospital
There have been no changes in facility restrictions from last week.
Nemaha County Community Health Services
Currently, NCCHS is only providing childhood immunizations – infant through 24 months of age. Tdap vaccinations are also available if needed due to a wound.
According to Sunderland, as of Monday, April 6, 18 Nemaha County residents have been tested for COVID-19. Fifteen tests had negative results and three tests are still pending.
“Nemaha County Community Health Services continues to work closely with local health care providers and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment,” Sunderland said.
The Prairie Hills USD No. 113 held a special meeting Tuesday, March 31. During that meeting, the board approved moving the April 13 meeting to Sabetha from Axtell. The board also approved a resolution regarding wage payments during emergency school closings and a waiver for the mandated 1,116 hours.
See full meeting minutes on Page 6 of this week’s Herald. In addition to the meeting minutes, see a full story regarding the Continuous Learning Plan on Page 1 of this week’s Herald.
March 31, 2020: Executive Order 20-17
This order ensures Kansas can draw down millions in federal dollars under the federal CARES Act.
The federal stimulus will expand unemployment insurance to include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months.
Executive Order 20-17 makes three, temporary changes to Kansas employment security law:
• The waiting week requirement for unemployment benefits is temporarily waived for all claimants;
• The requirement that Kansans receiving unemployment benefits actively seek work each week is temporarily waived for all claimants to allow Kansans to continue the necessary social distancing practices;
• All Kansas employers, as required by the federal Department of Labor, must notify separated employees if they qualify for unemployment insurance.