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The original item was published from 3/16/2020 1:04:09 PM to 3/21/2020 12:00:06 AM.

News Flash

County Commission

Posted on: March 16, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Commission Meeting Summary - Coronavirus Update (3-16-20)

Commission Meeting Summary – Coronavirus Update
March 16, 2020
8:30 A.M.

Finney County Medical Director, Dr. Lindsay Byrnes; Finney County Emergency Management Director, Stephen Green; Finney County Health Department Deputy Chief Health Officer, Deyna Ontiveros 

Dr. Lindsay Byrnes provided a general overview of the current status of Coronavirus in Finney County, current recommendations, and testing availability in Finney County.

We have zero (0) positive cases in Finney County. The public health recommendations from the CDC are to take preventative action to avoid the risk of spread by limiting public gatherings of 50 people or more. Someone could be a carrier of Coronavirus (COVID-19) before showing symptoms.

The Finney County Parks and Fairgrounds coordinator gave the Board an update on how the recommendation for mass gatherings has been well received by event hosts.

There is currently no availability to test every person in the community who is not showing symptoms. This is called ‘surveillance’ testing and is not available in every state, including Kansas. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is providing tests on a limited basis only for patients who appear to have symptoms of Coronavirus. The patient must meet the testing criteria established by the KDHE.

There is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. We are proactively recommending social distancing and limiting public, mass gatherings, following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and KDHE recommendations.

Dr. Byrnes specified how Coronavirus is tested.

The Finney County Health Department has conducted some tests for COVID-19, and have zero (0) positive cases.

Currently, through the Finney County Hotline, (620) 272-3600, the Health Department and St. Catherine Hospital staff are pre-screening patients over the phone with a questionnaire to determine if they need further evaluation for COVID-19 testing. If they meet the criteria, they are referred into the Health Department, where tests must be authorized by the KDHE.

Finney County led a collaborative effort in the community to engage the support functions of other clinics to follow the same procedure for referral to the hotline, pre-screening, and referral to the Health Department.

The Health Department is tracking their inventory of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and the Emergency Management Department is in contact with KDHE to obtain more PPE as needed. The Director of Finney County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) gave an update on their use and tracking of PPE.

We enlisted the support of local interpreters in the community from the USD 457 and the Garden City Community College, to assist us in translating information into as many languages as possible, as fast as possible. It is a priority for us to maintain and increase these efforts.

The Finney County Health Department is committed to following the recommendations from the CDC and the KDHE regarding the health and safety of our public.

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