Community spread of COVID-19 detected in McPherson County

As of Friday morning McPherson County has 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thursday evening the McPherson County Health Department Director Shalei Shea released a statement declaring community spread of COVID-19 has been determined in the county. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines community spread as the spread of an illness for which the source of the infection is unknown. Previously, in McPherson County health officials had been able to track COVID-19 cases to a source and determine when the exposure occurred. 

Shea says the community can still help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“McPherson County residents are encouraged to help the community and our health care system flatten the curve and slow the spread of coronavirus,” Shea said in the release. “They can do this by:

  • Following the Stay-At-Home Order
  • Covering all coughs and sneezes.
  • Washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.” 

An employee at Dillons, 1320 N. Main has been diagnosed with COVID-19. The employee was asymptomatic while at work but developed symptoms shortly thereafter.

“Those who shopped at the above Dillons store on March 31st, 2020 from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm or April 1st, 2020, from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm may have been exposed to COVID-19,” Shea said. 

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 you should contact your primary care doctor by telephone to determine how to proceed. If you do not have a primary care physician you should call the hospital or the McPherson County Health Department. 

Dillons remains open as an essential business and has taken numerous steps to ensure the safety and health of employees and customers. 

“We’ve been informed by an associate at our McPherson store, who has tested positive for COVID-19,” said Sheila Lowrie, Dillon Stores spokeswoman. “We are supporting our associate with an emergency paid leave and share our best for quick recovery. Upon learning of this case, we followed all sanitation and cleaning procedures as recommended by the CDC,communicated with, and supported our store team. We will continue to follow guidance from local, state and federal agencies, including the CDC and other health organizations.”

As of Friday morning KDHE reports 1,106 cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with a total of 42 deaths. The safer-at-home order issued for McPherson County as well as the stay-at-home order issued by the state remain in effect.