COVID-19 Cases Rise and Commissioners Consider Local Orders

Joe Denoyer - November 12, 2020 4:30 pm

Over the last three weeks, the state of Kansas and Seward County have seen significant
increases in positive case counts for COVID-19. Locally, we have tracked 206 new cases in
the last ten days. These cases, in addition to the existing active cases, leave more than 300
active cases in the community.

Active cases have created a strain on our local healthcare providers. Southwest Medical
Center has averaged more than 20 patients with COVID-19 throughout the month of
November. These rates are consistent across the region with transfer options dwindling.
Other hospitals that typically accept patients from SWMC are unable to do so at this time
due to high numbers of COVID-19 and low numbers of available staff.

The Board of County Commissioners met Tuesday, November 10, and took action on one
item. Effective November 12, masks will be required in all county buildings and for all
county employees. Additionally, County offices have limited access to the public. Services
are still available by appointment, please call 620-626-3212 for assistance. A drop box is
available from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the vestibule of the Seward County Administration
Building.

On Monday, November 16, the Board of County Commissioners will be considering two
additional safety measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19: a county-wide mask mandate
and gathering limits for activities within the county. Residents are encouraged to contact the
commissioners with their opinions on the issue.

Due to the increase in demand, the Seward County Health Department will be expanding
its testing capacity to include available testing over the weekends. More information on
available times and procedures will be shared via the media. This is a direct result of the
number of cases in the county as well as the frequent requests from citizens for testing.
The current situation in Liberal and Seward County is cause for concern. Cases continue to
rise and healthcare continues to be strained. Please remember the key measures that can be
taken to help stop the spread. If you are sick, stay home. If you are well and go out, wear a
mask to protect yourself and others. Avoid social gatherings that do not allow for proper
social distancing. Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash.
Finally, flu season is upon us and the Seward County Health Department reminds everyone
to get a flu vaccine.

 

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