By Jessie Wagoner
The McPherson County Health Department recommended the county move to Phase Three of reopening the county this week. They also announced several new cases of COVID-19 in the community.
As of press time, McPherson County has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 26 of which have met recovery guidelines. One individual remains hospitalized, while the other 11 people are recovering at home. Five of the cases involve children under the age of 18 from one household.
“Two of the new positive cases, along with the positive case from June 1 and June 3, four total, are all now related to a cluster at a private company in McPherson County,” Shalei Shea, McPherson County Health Department Director said. “Facility-wide testing is taking place to identify any asymptomatic carriers. This private company does not have general public access; therefore, the location will not be released.”
Staff at the company have been notified of the situation. The five children who have been diagnosed are related to an individual who works for the company and has tested positive as well.
“Let this serve as a reminder that COVID-19 is still present in our communities, so please stay home if you are ill and maintain your distance when you are around others,” Shea said.
While cases are continuing to rise the county has moved to Phase Three of the reopening plan. The McPherson County Health Department has provided recommendations for community members but says they will not be enforced by law. The recommendations at this time include:
- No more than 45 individuals in a mass gathering where six-foot distancing cannot be maintained between individuals. This does not include those who reside in the same household.
- Stay home if you are ill or have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Masks are encouraged in settings where six-foot distance cannot be maintained.
- Non-essential travel may resume, but KDHE travel-related quarantine mandate is still in effect.
- Activities and venues can reopen if:
-They are allowed to open by their licensor and follow all mandates.
-They require ill staff or patrons to stay home.
-They maintain six feet of distance between patrons as much as possible.
-They clean and disinfect per CDC guidelines.
-They avoid groups greater than 45 if distance cannot be maintained.
Specific activity and venue related guidelines can be found on mcphersoncountyks.us.website.