(Emporia, KS) — Lyon County, and the state of Kansas, is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The current active cases for the week starting November 9 shows that Lyon County has over 260 reported cases. This is an all-time high, and within the last two weeks we have broken records for new daily cases.
The cases are widely distributed among multiple settings, including schools, universities, industry, and long-term care and healthcare facilities.
Due to the community spread of COVID-19, in many cases an exact source of infection cannot be identified. Evidence in Lyon County shows that many cases may be the result of acquiring infections during small and large social gatherings.
The recent surge in cases has diminished the ability of our public health agency to notify call newly diagnosed individuals and their close contacts in a timely matter and has hampered efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Public Health will now only be contacting positive cases. COVID-19 positive individuals will be asked to notify their close contacts themselves. People who have been notified that they are a close contact of someone who is positive with the disease need to quarantine for 14 days.
Individuals who are notified of a positive COVID-19 test should take the following steps:
- If you have severe symptoms, immediately call your primary care provider and follow their instructions. If your situation is life threatening, call 911. DO NOT GO TO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE OR THE EMERENCY ROOM unless you are instructed to. ALWAYS CALL AHEAD.
- Isolate yourself in your home. Isolation means that you should not com in contact with anyone, should not leave your house, or allow visitors into your home. Isolation should last 10 days from the date when symptoms appear. Public Health will follow up with you for possible release from isolation.
- Try to isolate yourself from other household members, when possible. Transmission within the household is very common. However, the risk of transmission can be reduced when sick individuals or those who have tested positive immediately isolate themselves in a different part of the house and have no direct contact with other household members.
- Make a list of everyone that you have had as a close contact. A close contact is anyone that has been within six feet of an infected person for at least 10 minutes, regardless of mask use, from 2 days before the infected person experienced symptoms, or if asymptomatic, 2 days before the date the laboratory test was performed. Contact each individual and tell them that they have been exposed to the coronavirus and need to remain in quarantine in their home for 14 days from the date they were exposed.
Individuals in quarantine should not leave their house, except for emergencies, and should not go to work or school. If the individual in quarantine becomes symptomatic, call the COVID-19 Hotline at 620-208-3741 to schedule a test. Individuals in quarantine can contact Public Health and receive a letter explaining their quarantine for their employers.
What can people do to protect themselves and stop the spread of COVID-19?
- Physically distance at least 6 feet from people with whom you don’t live with.
- Wear a cloth face mask, unless unable to wear one for medical reasons.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
- Do not gather indoors with people outside of your household.
- Limit gatherings outside, and physically distances and wear a mask.
- Cooperate with public health officials if you have tested positive or are a close contact.
Evidence in Lyon County shows that the spread of the disease is being driven by individuals who are not following these public health recommendations. These recommendations can reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Additional information can be found at publichealth.lyoncounty.org