By Adam Strunk
For the first time in more than two months, The Harvey County Health Department was able to announce that there is not an active case of COVID-19 in Harvey County.
The county has 15 confirmed cases. Thirteen of those diagnosed have filled the requirements of recovery for the disease. Two have since passed away.
“The hope is not to get more. Standing next to the podium, I’ll knock on that,” Health Department Director Lynnette Redington said. “What you need to keep doing is social distancing, hand washing; that’s what we need to get this virus under control and wear a facemask. You need to stay at home if you are ill.”
Health care providers conducted 122 tests last week in Harvey County and there were zero new positive cases in the last week, as of Tuesday. So far, 634 tests have been conducted. The county is in Phase 2 of its recovery plan, meaning salons and barbers are now open, as well as workout facilities.
“We’ve had some positives in our community,” she said. “Many of our businesses are trying very hard to keep employees safe, to keep you safe, us safe as customers. Please observe social distancing and if they ask you to have a mask, please try to do that. Many employers have their employees wear masks and that shows a lot of respect to us customers, so shout out and say ‘yay, we’ve seen that.’”
She noted that while there were currently no active cases, it was possible that the situation would change in the coming days.
She said with people mixing and mingling during Memorial Day, a spike might occur, though it wouldn’t be until next week until that spike was observable. The state is asking anyone who went to Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day to self-quarantine for two weeks.
There have been 9,218 cases in Kansas and 188 deaths since the outbreak began in March. The number of new cases began to drop off following the first week of May.
“We’re still learning about Covid and it’s always changing and very fluid with that disease,” she said. “We have been told we’d have a little lull over the summer. It was I believe Dr. Norman, who is our secretary of health and environment. Most likely, it is us being outside, social distancing, the warmer weather killing the virus. We don’t have all the facts on that, of course. That may be the reason why. We just got done with Memorial Day weekend…We’re ready. We’re watching for that. We are always checking our caseload and making sure if we need to get on it, we’re on it.