COVID-19 Public Health Resources

 

We all have a role to play to stop the spread of COVID-19. Please use the menu below to navigate to public health resources to keep you and your family safe.

You can also explore our main menu page to quickly find additional public health and economic relief resources.

 

 

 

 

Overview

On March 7th, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) confirmed its first presumptive-positive case of COVID-19 in Johnson County, Kansas. Since that time, the virus unfortunately has continued to spread.

This is an evolving situation and information is changing rapidly. For the latest updates, please review:

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Local public health resources

The state of Kansas and local governments are monitoring this situation and providing updates as events warrant. Below are are resources you can use to stay updated.

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Prevention

Prevention is key to overcoming our public health emergency. We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
 

 

Guidance on Prevention and Reopening Safely

Governor Kelly's statewide Stay at Home directive has ended. We’re now progressing through the state's reopening guidelines, and Governor Kelly is allowing counties to tailor how they reopen to their own local needs. 

Here's what you need to know:


Kansans should stay at home when they can and avoid contact with others when possible. But if you have to go out please wear a mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands frequently and for at least twenty seconds so you don’t possibly spread COVID-19 to anyone else.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Practice social distancing. That means -
     
    • Always stay six feet away from other people.
       
    • Do NOT gather with other people in groups.
       
    • Do NOT shake other people’s hands.
       
  • Wear a mask (cloth face covering).
     
  • Do not touch your face.
     
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds.
     
    • This is especially crucial before eating, or after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
       
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash (and then wash your hands for at least twenty seconds).
     
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.


People who are at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 should remain at home at all times, EXCEPT to receive needed medical care.

  • If you’re sick or think you might be sick, stay home.
     
  • If you believe you may have COVID-19, first call your doctor or health care provider. Share any symptoms you may have. You can also call 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) to ask questions.
    • Do not rush to emergency rooms or urgent care first to seek COVID-19 testing. That could overwhelm our health care system and prevent the seriously ill from getting treatment.
       
    • People who are sick should only leave their homes to receive medical care, in accordance with these guidelines.
       

Businesses should also make accommodations to ensure safety, including social distancing and proper hygiene. That includes:

  • Wearing masks (cloth face coverings).
     
  • Structuring the workplace so employees can be at least six feet apart with appropriate signage.
     
  • Frequently wash hands and make hand sanitizer available.
     
  • Instituting separate hours for vulnerable people, like seniors.
     
  • Ensuring online resources and communications whenever possible.
     

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Do:

  • Practice social distancing. That means -
     
    • Always stay at least six feet away from other people.
       
    • Kansans should stay at home when they can, and avoid contact with others when possible.
       
    • Do NOT gather with other people in groups.
       
    • Do NOT shake other people’s hands.
       
  • Wear a mask (cloth face covering)
     
  • Wash your hands often, with soap and water, and for at least 20 seconds.
     
    • This is especially crucial before eating, or after going to the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
       
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash (and then wash your hands for at least twenty seconds).
     
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

     

 

Don’t:

  • Gather together in large groups.
     
  • Touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth.
     
  • Get in close contact with people who are sick.
     
  • ​Flush disinfecting wipes or other non-flushable items. These should be disposed of in the trash instead.
     
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says this is critical to ensuring plumbing, sewer systems and septic systems continue to work properly during this public health emergency.
       
    • You can learn more on the EPA’s website.

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Information on masks (cloth face coverings)

In addition to measures such as practicing social distancing and frequent hand washing, wearing a mask (or a cloth face covering) is very important for helping to slow the spead of COVID-19.
 

Here is what you need to know:

  • Cloth face coverings are important because they help better protect everyone. According to the CDC, many people with COVID-19 do not show symptoms but they still can spread COVID-19 to others without even realizing it.
     
  • COVID-19 often spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets that people naturally produce when sneezing or even talking. A cloth face covering can help limit the spread of these droplets. Face coverings are likely to be more effective when they're widely used by the public. 
     
  • Governor Kelly issued an Executive Order requiring most Kansans to wear masks in public spaces, effective Friday, July 3rd.
     

According to the CDC, here are some things you should keep in mind when applying and wearing a cloth face covering:

  • Wash your hands before putting on your face covering.

  • Put it over your nose and mouth and secure it under your chin.

  • Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.

  • Make sure you can breathe easily.

  • Take off your cloth face covering carefully when you're home. 

    • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing your covering. Place the covering in the washing machine after using it, and wash hands immediately after removing. 
       

Here is more information on how to make your own mask or face covering:

Here are some other things you should know:

  • Everyone should also still practice social distancing whenever possible, wash hands frequently and for at least twenty seconds, and routinely disinfect surfaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
     
  • However, please do not use a facemask intended for medical professionals (N95 respirators and surgical masks).
     
    • N95 respirators and surgical masks (face masks) are still in short supply. Right now, our medical professionals need as many of these masks as possible to protect themselves as they work around the clock to keep everyone else healthy. 
       
  • Please note that by applying a covering, you could accidentally touch your face and expose yourself to COVID-19. Therefore:
     
    • Anyone who wears a covering of any kind should always wash their hands for at least twenty seconds before applying it.
       
    • You should also wash your hands for at least twenty seconds before adjusting one.

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Information on disinfectants

In addition to washing your hands often and for at least twenty seconds, disinfecting surfaces may also help stop the spread of COVID-19. Though we're currently learning more and more about the virus, some studies suggest the virus can survive on surfaces for a period of time.

Please play this video from the CDC to learn more:

Here's how you can learn more from the CDC:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also has additional resources, including an app that "allows smart phone users and others to quickly idenitfy disinfectant products" that you can use to help protect your household or business.

 

The State of Kansas has also produced online guidance to talk about disinfectant safety with a landlord or custodial service.

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Guidelines for older Americans and people with chronic health conditions:

Older Americans and those who have chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of getting more severely ill from COVID-19.

Anyone who meets those criteria should:

  • Stay home as much as possible to further reduce your risk of being exposed.
     
  • If you do go out in public make sure to wear a cloth face covering, practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others, and wash your hands often and for at least twenty seconds.
     
  • To avoid contact with others, consider other options such as a home delivery service or getting help from a friend or family member.
     
  • Here is more information from the CDC:

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Prevention and preparation at home, work, school and more:

The CDC has released guidelines for how to prepare and take action for COVID-19 in the following locations and situations:

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KDHE home quarantine guidelines:

KDHE updated its quartine guidelines on June 29th. People who have traveled to the below locations, whether you're a Kansas resident or visiting, should quarantine for fourteen days.

  • Alabama
     
  • Arizona
     
  • Arkansas
     
  • Florida
     
  • South Carolina
     
  • Cruise ship or river cruise passengers
     
  • International travelers
     

Here's where you can learn more:

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Symptoms


COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. Call your health care provider if you develop symptoms or have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19.

Symptoms that may appear 2-14 days after exposure:

  • Fever.
     
  • Cough.
     
  • Shortness of breath.
     

Get medical attention immeditely if you develop any of the following emergency warning signs:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
     
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest.
     
  • New confusion or inability to arouse.
     
  • Bluish lips or face.
     

This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning. When you call your health care provider: 

  • Tell them about your symptoms and your exposure.
     
  • If you have COVID-19, or if you think you may have it, make sure your health care provider knows that ahead of time if you schedule an appointment. This way they can take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed in their facility.
     
  • People at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 (older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions) should contact their health care provider early, even if their illness is mild. 
     
  • You can also call the KDHE for public health questions at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF).

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Testing

I'm pushing to expand widespread testing as rapidly as possible so we can save lives and reopen our economy safely. Here is where you can learn more about testing in our region. You may call KDHE at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) to ask questions and get further guidance.​
 

Testing opportunities in Johnson County: Johnson County residents who are experiencing coronavirus symptoms can schedule a free COVID-19 test at the Department of Health and Environment's Olathe location. Residents should seek testing from their primary health care provider first before making an appointment.

Testing opportunities in Wyandotte County: There are several locations throughout Wyandotte that offer testing services.

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Personal protective equipment for medical personnel

Health care workers need personal protective equipment (PPE) like masks and gloves to help save lives. I voted for bipartisan legislation to provide more funding to secure these crucial materials, and introduced the SUPPLIES Act to help support small businesses so they can manufacture more of these items. But we have a lot more work to do. We have to connect our hospitals and medical personnel with these items as quickly as we can.
 

Medical professionals who need PPE: If you’re in the medical profession and need PPE, please refer to these resources.


Donate PPE: If you have PPE that may be helpful in the fight against COVID-19, please reach out to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Businesses interested in manufacturing PPE: If you’re interested in manufacturing PPE, please refer to these resources. I’ve also introduced legislation to help small businesses manufacture PPE so we can ramp up production more quickly.

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Travel Warnings

On March 19th, the U.S. Department of State issued a level 4 advisory. This advisory says that Americans should not travel overseas. Americans who are already abroad should return to the U.S. if they can, or be prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.
 

For those already abroad:

  • Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP): We strongly encourage you to enroll in STEP to receive important messages, alerts, updates, and travel advisories.
     
  • Call the Department of State emergency line at 888-407-4747 if you or a loved one is experiencing an emergency abroad, and contact the local U.S. Embassy.
     

State Department Level 4 Advisory information:

CDC travel recommendations:

  • Avoid all cruise ship travel worldwide.
  • Older adults and travelers with underlying health issues should especially avoid situations that put them at increased risk for more severe disease.

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Mental health

This is a stressful time for a lot of folks. With social distancing people may be separated from their loved ones, are concerned about a family member’s health, or may have even lost their job. It’s important to also take care of our mental health right now and check in on friends and loved ones who might be having a difficult time.

Here are some resources that are available to you:

Here are some phone numbers you can call if you need help:

  • Johnson County mental health center 24/7 crisis line: (913) 268-0156
     
  • Wyandotte County Behavior Health Network:
     
    • General questions and answers: (913) 328-4600
       
    • 24/7 crisis line: (913) 788-4200
       
  • Disaster stress hotline: 1-800-985-5990
     
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
     
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
     
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255
     
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

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How you can help

Kansans support each other in times of crisis. If you’re looking for ways to help others, here is more information:

  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has links to resources on how people can donate and volunteer.
     
  • They provide links to vetted non-profit organizations who are providing assistance.
     
  • They also provide opportunities to donate much needed medical equipment and supplies.
     
  • Please click here to learn more and see how you can help.

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Latest COVID-19 Public Health Information from the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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