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Seward County Health Order Establishes 14 Day Quarantine for Traveling to Certain Counties and Cities

Joe Denoyer - April 2, 2020 10:35 am

Now on this _3_ day of April 2020, I Dennis Knudsen, M.D. the duly appointed Health Officer for Seward County and Medical Consultant for the Seward County Health Department, in consultation with local leaders make the following order, pursuant to K.S.A. 65-129b, to mitigate the spread of the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) to Seward County, Kansas.

WHEREAS, the local Health Officer is authorized and required, pursuant to K.S.A. 65- 119 and K.S.A. 65-129b and K.S.A. 65-202 to take make orders related to infectious or contagious disease, specifically in K.S.A. 65-129 to order an individual or group of individuals to go into quarantine until such no longer poses a substantial risk of transmitting the disease or condition to the public where there is actual or potential exposure to an infectious or contagious disease that is potentially life-threatening;

WHEREAS, I, the Local Health Officer have been appointed by the Board of County Commissioners acting as the Local Board of Health;

WHEREAS, on the 12th day of March 2020, the Governor of the State of Kansas, Laura Kelly, issued a State of Disaster Emergency Proclamation finding that a public health emergency exists within the State of Kansas;

WHEREAS, Seward County Kansas declared through Resolution No. 2020-03 there was a state of local public health emergency on March 16, 2020, which was to continue and remain in effect until 60 days unless terminated earlier;

WHEARAS, COVID-19 is an infectious or contagious disease that is potentially life-threatening and such conditions endanger health, safety and welfare of persons and property within the border of Seward County, Kansas;

WHEREAS, the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 and the resulting epidemic in Kansas continue to threaten the life and health of our citizens and visitors as well as the vitality of the economy and remains a public disaster affecting life, health, property, and the public peace;

WHEREAS, there are currently States and counties in Kansas that are experiencing communitywide spread of Covid-19;

WHEREAS, there is consequently a risk of transmitting COVID-19 to the residents of Seward County if individuals travel to those locations and subsequently return to Seward County, Kansas without quarantining themselves;

WHEREAS, the incubation period of COVID-19 is up to 14 days;

WHEREAS, a 14-day mandatory quarantine is necessary for those individuals traveling to the locations set forth above in order to control the spread of Covid-19 to the people of Seward County, Kansas; and

WHEREAS, this public health order is being issued to slow the rate of community spread of COVID-19 through quarantine of individuals traveling to certain communitywide spread locations. It is estimated that each COVID-19 positive person could infect between 2.6 to 4 other people. Furthermore, there is emerging evidence of transmission among pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people, making routine case-finding and exposure tracing strategies insufficient. It is believed that quarantine of those individuals traveling to certain locations is key to flattening the epidemic curve to prevent overwhelming our local health care system’s ability to care for the proportion of residents who develop severe symptoms. Early implementation of this strategy is even more important in the context of limited available testing. With full community cooperation, this proactive health order can minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our Seward County community.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED by the Local Health Officer of Seward County, Kansas, pursuant to the authority stated above, that:

Section 1. Mandatory Quarantine.
Persons located in Seward County Kansas who on or after April 3, 2020 (i) traveled internationally, (ii) took a cruise, or (iii) traveled to the following States and counties in Kansas, are hereby required to quarantine themselves for a period of 14 days:
State of Kansas, specifically:
Sedgwick County/Wichita
KC Metro Areas:
Johnson County
Wyandotte County
Douglas County
Leavenworth County
Shawnee County/Topeka
New York
Washington State
New Jersey

Section 2. Voluntary Quarantine.
Persons located in Seward County who between March 20, 2020 and April 3, 2020 (i) traveled internationally, (ii) took a cruise, or (iii) traveled to the above States and counties in Kansas are advised to voluntarily quarantine themselves for 14 days, UNLESS such a person is otherwise mandatorily quarantined pursuant to a mandate of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, an executive order of the Governor, or any other lawful mandate, order or law.

Section 3. Guidelines for Quarantine.
Those individuals who are under a travel related 14-day home quarantine shall follow Kansas Department of Health and Environment guidance for travel related quarantines. Questions shall be directed to the Seward County Health Department at 626-3369.

Section 4. Scope and Premises Subject to Quarantine.
The premises subject to quarantine are those premises in Seward County containing individuals mandatorily or voluntarily quarantined pursuant to Section 1 and 2.

Section 5. Exemptions.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, this order shall not apply to those persons who have traveled to the locations specified in Section 1 while performing services necessary (i) as an essential function of the Kansas Essential Functions Framework (KEFF) as set forth in Executive Order No. 20-15 or (ii) as an essential function of the critical infrastructure defined by the Department of Homeland Security. Those persons working for a business or organization which performs an essential function but who themselves do not otherwise perform services necessary for the business or organization’s essential function are not exempt. For the purpose of this order “necessary” shall mean absolutely needed or required and shall not mean trivial, unsupportive, or secondary. All first responders, law enforcement, and health workers are specifically exempted from this order if said individuals have traveled to the locations specified in Section 1 while performing their jobs. Businesses and organizations should contact the Seward County Health Department or Seward County Emergency Management for guidance in the event they have an employee who would otherwise be quarantined under this order, but is exempt pursuant to this section. If employees are allowed to work under the exceptions of this Section, employers are urged to implement protocols to ensure that the public is safe from potential exposure and that no employee comes to work symptomatic.

Section 6. Enforcement.
Pursuant to K.S.A. 65-119, K.S.A. 65-129c, and any and all other applicable legal authority, any sheriff, deputy sheriff or other law enforcement officer (other than a law enforcement officer of the State of Kansas) within Seward County, Kansas is hereby ordered to assist in the execution or enforcement of this Order. Nothing herein shall be construed to require enforcement of this order by state authorities.

Section 7. Modification of Order.
This Order may be supplemented or modified as required for the effective and efficient management and control of the COVID-19 epidemic in Seward County by further order or directive of the Board of County Commissioners, acting as the Board of Health, or by the Seward County Local Health Officer.

Section 8. Contesting Order.
Pursuant to K.S.A. 65-129c, an individual or group of individuals isolated or quarantined may request a hearing in Seward County Kansas District court contesting the isolation or quarantine, as provided in article 15 of chapter 60 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated.

Section 9. Effective Date and Termination.
This Order is effective at 12:01 A.M. on Friday, April 3, 2020, and shall remain in effect for 30 days, until May 3, 2020, unless sooner amended, superseded, or rescinded.

Section 10. Notice and Publication.
It is determined that because of the number of individuals and geographical areas affected, it is impractical provide notice to all such individuals by giving them written copies this order. Affected individuals will be fully informed of the order using the best possible means available. Informing these individuals will include a copy of this order being published once in the official county newspaper.

IT IS SO ORDERED ON THIS _3_ of April, 2020.


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