FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Mayor David Alvey today announced that the Chief Medical Officer of the Unified Government issued a Public Health Order requiring residents to remain in place, with the only exception being essential needs. This measure is needed to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Wyandotte County.
The Order is effective Tuesday, March 24, 2020, as of 12:00 AM and remains in effect until Thursday, April 23, 2020, or until it is extended and is available along with other information at wycokck.org/COVID-19.
According to Chief Medical Officer Allen Greiner, “It is critical to slow the spread of Coronavirus (CoVid 19). The best way to do this is to stay 6 feet or more away from everyone possible– even if they do not have symptoms that include a fever, cough and shortness of breath. If we don’t act, the virus can spread very easily. Sometimes people who have the virus don’t know it. If you are close to someone like this, they can infect you and many others. This is why we must follow the public health order for everyone to stay at home.”
Dr. Greiner continued, “This public health order to stay at home is being issued to slow the rate of community spread of COVID-19 through intensified social distancing. Without such efforts, it is estimated that each COVID19 positive patient could infect between 2.6 to 4 additional people.
You may have heard that slowing the spread means “flattening the curve”. The curve is a way to show the number of people who have the virus at any point in time. People will still get the virus, but we need to help doctors and hospitals take care of them. If we work together to slow the spread, we can protect ourselves, our families and our Wyandotte County community. For up-to-date information, go to wycokck.org/COVID19.” concluded Dr. Greiner.
“Today’s order by the Unified Government’s Chief Medical Officer for residents to Stay at Home is unprecedented. However, these are extraordinary times and we must take these types of preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our community,” said Mayor/CEO David Alvey. “This health order will have a disruptive effect on our day-to-day lives, but we are hopeful that the steps we take today will mitigate the spread, protect our vulnerable populations, and save lives in coming weeks.”
The Order directs all residents to remain at their place of residence, except to conduct Essential Activity (defined below). Individuals may leave their residence only to perform an Essential Activity. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are urged to stay in their residence except as necessary to seek medical care. Individuals who are sick may leave their residence only as necessary to seek or receive medical care in accordance with guidance from public health officials. Everyone shall practice social distancing while performing essential activities by remaining at least 6 feet of distance from everyone other than household members.
All businesses and operations in Wyandotte County, except Essential Businesses as defined below, are required to cease all activities. For clarity, businesses may also continue operations consisting exclusively of employees or contractors performing activities at their own residences (i.e., working from home).
People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence except as necessary to seek medical care.
Essential activities are activities or tasks essential to an individual’s health or safety or the health and safety of their family or household members. These activities include:
• Obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor or other health care provider
• Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as food, pet food, and supplies necessary for staying at home
• Obtaining supplies necessary for maintaining a household
• Obtaining supplies necessary for working from home
• Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running
• Performing work providing essential services at an Essential Business
• Caring for a family member in another household
• Caring for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
Essential businesses are organizations that provide the goods or services needed for an essential activity. These include:
• Childcare facilities
• Government operations
• Pharmacies, health care supply stores, and health care facilities
• Grocery stores
• Gas stations and auto repair facilities
• Garbage collection
• Hardware stores, plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and other essential businesses
• Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;
• Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers
• Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, and goods directly to residences.
Residents who believe they may have COVID-19 should call their primary healthcare provider. Residents may also self-report symptoms online at wycokck.org/COVID-19.
Resources provided by the Unified Government include:
• wycokck.org/COVID-19: contains UG news releases on COVID-19 and a list of resources to learn more
• The Wyandotte County Help Line is available to residents at 3-1-1 for those with questions.
• In addition, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has also set up a hotline at 866-534-3463.
CONTACT: Janell Friesen, Public Information Officer Unified Government Public Health Department COVID-19 media requests: (913) 573-6727 All other Health Department media requests: (913) 573-6703 email@example.com