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 find additional public health and economic relief resources quickly.
 

 

 

 

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:

Click here to go back to the top.

 

Local public health resources

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

Click here to go back to the top.

 

 

Vaccinations in Kansas

Three safe, approved, safe, and effective vaccines are now being distributed in Kansas. This is a moment of hope amid some of our darkest days in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what you need to know.

​​Click here to go back to the top.

 

Vaccinations in Johnson County:

The Johnson County Department of Health and the Environment is now vaccinating people in phases 1 through 5. That means anyone who is 16 years old or older is now eligible to get vaccinated. Please get vaccinated as soon as you’re able.

Here’s what you need to know:

​​Click here to go back to the top.


 

Vaccinations in Wyandotte County:

Wyandotte County’s Public Health Department is now vaccinating people in phases 1 through 5. That means anyone who is 16 years old or older is now eligible to get vaccinated. Please get vaccinated as soon as youre able.

Here’s what you need to know:

​​Click here to go back to the top.

 

Vaccinations in Miami County:

The Miami County Public Health Department is now vaccinating people in phases 1 through 5. That means anyone who is 16 years old or older is now eligible to get vaccinated. Please get vaccinated as soon as youre able.

Here’s what you need to know:

​​Click here to go back to the top.

 

Why You Should Get Vaccinated:

Three safe, approved, and effective vaccines are now being distributed in Kansas and throughout the country. I am encouraging everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able to.

  • These vaccines have undergone clinical trials and have been shown to be safe and highly effective. COVID-19 has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. We can save lives and finally put this crisis behind us as more and more people get vaccinated.
     
  • I received the COVID-19 vaccine along with my colleague Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver. I have full confidence in its safety and effectiveness — and it didn’t even hurt! It’s my hope we can help reassure people in all communities — including communities of color — of the safety and importance of receiving the vaccine when it’s made available to them.

    Rep. Davids receiving her vaccine with Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver
     
  • I understand some folks may have questions. Thankfully, experts at the Centers for Disease Control are here to answer them. Please click below for more information:
     
  • You can also learn more about how vaccines work by watching this quick video from John Hopkins University. 

​​Click here to go back to the top.

 


Prevention

Prevention is key to overcoming our public health emergency.
 

Do your part

We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19. If we all do our part now, we can buy ourselves time until more vaccines are finally distributed. That could mean saving thousands of lives in the meantime.

All Kansans should: 

​​Click here to go back to the top.



State and local public health guidelines

Here is more information on statewide and local public health guidelines: 

Statewide: On November 18th, 2020, Governor Kelly announced an executive order to establish a new face-covering protocol. According to Governor Kelly, the order allows local governments to establish their own face covering ordinances that work best for their needs.


Johnson County: The County issued a public health order that went into effect on Monday, November 16th. This order takes steps to limit mass gatherings and ensure social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19.


Wyandotte County: The County issued a public health order that went into effect on Friday, November 20th. This order as well takes steps to limit mass gatherings, including requiring facilities to limit their capacity to 50% of a space’s occupancy if social distancing can’t be maintained. 

​​Click here to go back to the top.

 

Information on masks (cloth face coverings)

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

Here's 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 the public widely uses them.
     
  • On November 18th, 2020, Governor Kelly announced an executive order to establish a new face-covering protocol.
     
  • Please click here to see the CDC's mask guidelines. 


It's important to wear a mask properly. Here's what you need to know, according to the CDC:

  • A mask should fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the sides of the face.
     
  • Please watch this video from the CDC for a demonstration.


     

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

​​Click here to go back to the top.


 

 

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 some 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 identify 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.

Click here to go back to the top.

 

 

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 reduce further 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 friends or family members.​
     
  • Here is more information from the CDC:

Click here to go back to the top.

 

 

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:

Click here to go back to the top.

 

More on safer workplaces

A lot more folks are teleworking these days, but I know many others work at jobs where remote work isn’t feasible. If you or someone you know has to physically report to work, I wanted to share some resources from the CDC, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) on how both employers and employees can ensure their workplaces are safe as possible during this health crisis.
 

First, businesses should make accommodations to ensure safety. That includes, but may not be limited to:

There are also resources available to help businesses institute safety standards to ensure safer workplaces. Employees may also have resources if they believe they have to work in unsafe conditions.

  • KDOL Industrial Health and Safety Office: May be able to provide local businesses with free health and safety consultations so employers can make sure that they are operating as safely as they can. It’s a confidential process that can involve a walk-through, follow-up questions, and virtual assistance. You may also call them at (785) 296-4386.
     
  • OSHA: produced a variety of detailed recommendations, developed in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, which businesses in a variety of industries can refer to in order to operate more safely. That includes businesses in retail, construction, dentistry, in-home repair, and more. You can also call them at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
     
  • CDC: The CDC has detailed information on how businesses and workplaces can operate more safely.
     
  • Protections for workers: Likewise, no one should have to choose between their health and collecting a paycheck. As an employee, you also have the right to file a whistleblower complaint if you feel you are being retaliated against for expressing concerns about your health and safety in your work environment. You can get in contact with the Kansas OSHA office if you have any questions at (316) 269-6644.

Click here to go back to the top.

 

KDHE home quarantine guidelines:

If you have recently traveled to another region or country where the coronavirus is prevalent, or have attended a mass gathering out of state where people did not socially distance and wear masks, you will need to quarantine for fourteen days after arriving in Kansas.

Here's where you can learn more:

Click here to go back to the top.


 

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 immediately 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).

Click here to go back to the top.

 


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.​

You can also visit www.gogettested.com/kansas to find additional testing opportunities throughout our state.
 

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.

Click here to go back to the top.
 

 

Flu shots

The CDC says that getting a flu vaccine is even more important now. As we head more into the fall and winter months, the combined impact of both flu and coronavirus cases can continue to strain doctors and other frontline health care workers at a critical time.

  • According to the CDC, the best way to not get the flu is to get vaccinated. Everyone who is 6 months old or older should get their flu vaccine. 
     
  • Getting the flu shot now can help alleviate pressure on health care system and help save lives. The flu by itself as well can be dangerous, causing mild to severe infections in thousands of Americans every year.
     
  • Thankfully, you now may be able to get your low-cost flu shot by calling your health provider. However, both Johnson and Wyandotte Counties are also providing free or low cost flu shots, which you can learn more about below.

Johnson County:

  • Johnson County’s Department of Health and the Environment is operating a walk-up clinic in Olathe.
     
  • Most health insurance plans, Medicare Part B, and Medicaid cover the cost of the flu vaccine. But if you don't have insurance, it only costs $30.
     
  • Here's whaty ou need to know:

Wyandotte County

Click here to go back to the top.

 

 

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. I also introduced the SUPPLIES Act to help support small businesses 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 help 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.

Click here to go back to the top.


 

Travel Warnings

The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on global travel. According to the U.S. Department of State, anyone who must travel abroad may have to undergo a mandatory quarantine and possibly other restrictions. Furthermore, while you're abroad, a country may decide to impose other restrictions to contain the virus that could impact your travel plans.
 

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 information for travelers:

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.

Click here to go back to the top.




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 even lost their job. It’s important to 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

Click here to go back to the top.


 

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): FEMA has more information on how people can donate and volunteer. They provide links to vetted non-profit organizations who are providing assistance, and opportunities to donate much needed medical equipment and supplies.
     
  • The Kansas Volunteer Commission: Likewise, the state of Kansas is also connecting folks with ways people can help. That includes community service opportunities through the Kansas Volunteer Commission, such as virtual wellness checks on people who may be elderly or isolated, or opportunities to pick up and deliver groceries and needed medications.

Click here to go back to the top.

 

 

Latest COVID-19 public health information from the Centers and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)