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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Mitchell County Releases Phase 1 Plan For Re-Opening

Phase 1

PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION

As we approach the final days of Kansas’s “Stay Home” order enacted by Governor Kelly, it is important to continue to take measures to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable, while ensuring our healthcare resources are not overburdened. This document has been prepared to offer direction on a phase reopening of Mitchell County, following the guidance received by Governor Kelly.
We understand restarting economic activity is crucial for the livelihood of our county and will remain a priority, along with keeping our community safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19. In our efforts to continue to move forward in the following days, it is critical that the community as a whole remain cautious in our steps onward, to limit the potential return of a “Stay Home” order.

SUMMARY OF KEY POINTS

  • The Statewide “Stay Home” order is set to expire on May 3rd, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
  • A phased in approach will be taken with executive orders provided by Governor Kelly that will set an outer perimeter for local units of government, such as Mitchell County and the Mitchell County Health Department. Local units cannot be less restrictive than the executive order, but they can be more restrictive (i.e. Additional travel restrictions). The only exception to this rule is for businesses that have been deemed essential under the KEFF Framework.
  • Governor Kelly will evaluate the state’s disease spread, testing rates, death rates, hospitalizations, ability of state and local public health authorities to contain outbreaks and conduct contact tracing, and personal protective equipment availability when determining if the state should move to the next phase of the plan.
  • An executive order will be placed for each phase. With each executive order, a mass gathering limit will be identified prohibiting mass gatherings of more than the determined size.
    • Mass Gathering Definition: Mass gatherings are defined as instances in which individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals (not including individuals who reside together) with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.
  • All businesses not specifically identified in each phase of the reopening plan will be allowed to reopen unless Mitchell County or the Mitchell County Health Department issues an order prohibiting such businesses from opening. Each business and entity that will not be allowed to be open will be identified in each phase.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO BE FOLLOWED THROUGH EACH PHASE

  • State restrictions must allow for the actions included in each phase. To move from one phase to the next, the following criteria must be met:
    • Disease spread is stable or declining over a 14-day period
    • Hospitals identify a decreasing number of new COVID-19 admissions, with a stable or downward trajectory of the COVID-19 inpatient counts within a 14-day period
    • Decreasing number of COVID-19 deaths within a 14-day period
    • Sufficient testing supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be available
    • The public health systems must be able to promptly identify and isolate infected individuals and identify and quarantine necessary contacts
  • When able, staying home is recommended, especially for the vulnerable and high-risk population
  • Social distancing measures should continue to be followed:
    • Stay 6 feet away from people when possible
    • Limit non-essential travel
    • Limit interaction with people not in the same household when possible
  • Masks are recommended to be worn in public
  • Practice good hygiene (i.e. washing hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer); Disinfect surfaces frequently
  • Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes
  • Follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for updated list of symptoms of COVID-19
    • Symptoms include (but are not limited to): fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, aches, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, nausea/vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Businesses, organizations, or facilities may have stricter regulations than what are listed below, but may not have less strict regulations

Phase 1

Beginning May 4th

Lasting no less than 14 days

Mass

Gathering

Limitations

 

·         10 or less, not including individuals who reside together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidance for Individuals

·         Masks: Cloth face masks are strongly encouraged in public settings as appropriate. Employees should follow industry-specific guidance on mask use in workplaces.

 

·         Outdoor activities: When in public (e.g. parks, outdoor recreation areas, shopping areas), individuals (not including individuals who reside together) should maintain 6-foot distance from others with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

 

·         Social Gatherings: Do not socialize in person with groups of more than 10 individuals in both indoor and outdoor settings, especially in circumstances that do not allow for a physical distance of 6-feet or more between individuals or groups with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

 

·         High Risk Individuals: High risk individuals are advised to continue to stay home except when conducting essential functions.

 

·         Travel: Minimize or eliminate non-essential travel and follow the KDHE and Mitchell County travel and quarantine guidelines for travel to high-risk areas. Essential travel includes travel for urgent family, medical, and business-related needs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidance for Employers

·         Telework: Strongly encouraged for all employees when possible.

 

·         On-site operations: Avoid large gatherings of employees in groups of more than 10 where social distancing protocol cannot be maintained except for infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity AND phase in employees on-site as possible while maintaining 6-feet of distance between employee workstations.

 

·         Screening: Highly encouraged to screen workers for fevers and any symptoms of COVID-19 with a questionnaire at workplace entrance.

 

·         Potentially Sick Employees: Any employees exhibiting symptoms should be required to stay at home and asked to call their health care provider.

 

·         Common Areas: Common areas, such as breakrooms and lobbies, should remain closed.

 

·         Masks: Employers should highly consider the use of masks at all times unless prohibited by other safety equipment.

 

·         Business Travel: Minimize or eliminate non-essential travel and follow KDHE and Mitchell County’s travel and quarantine guidelines for travel to high-risk areas. Essential travel includes travel for urgent and necessary family, medical, and business-related needs.

 

·         Visits to Long-Term Care Facilities or Correctional Facilities: In-person visits to these facilities should be prohibited. Those who must interact with residents must adhere to strict protocols regarding hygiene and screening.

 

 

 

 

 

Business Restrictions

 

(Applicable to all businesses identified as being allowed to open)

All businesses not prohibited may open IF:

 

·         They can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between consumers (individuals or groups)

 

·         Fundamental cleaning and public health practices must be followed. Businesses should follow industry-specific guidelines as provided on covid.ks.gov. Any additional best practices guidance from each business sector is strongly encouraged.

 

·         Businesses must avoid any instances in which groups of more than 10 individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closure proximity.

 

o   This does not limit total occupancy of a business, but requires that businesses limit mass gatherings in areas and instances in which physical distancing cannot be maintained, such as tables, entrances, lobbies, break rooms, check-out areas, etc.

 

 

 

 

Educational Facilities and Licensed Childcare Facilities

·         K-12 facilities remain subject to the provisions of EO 20-07 regarding school closures, including the requirement that fewer than 10 students, instructors, or staff be present for normal operations. K-12 facilities should continue to follow the guidelines of the Continuous Learning Plan developed by the Kansas State Department of Education. Districts with facilities in more than one county or city should follow any applicable directives issued by the county and city in which the district office is located.

 

·         Higher education facilities that are closed before May 4th should remain closed for in-person learning or events involving groups of more than 10 individuals present at a time.

 

·         Licensed childcare facilities may continue operations pursuant to state and local regulation

 

 

 

 

Activities and Venue Restrictions

All activities and venues not prohibited may open IF:

 

·         They can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between individuals or groups.

 

·         Fundamental cleaning and public health practices are followed. Compliance with any additional sector-specific practices guidance is strongly encouraged.

 

·         Avoid any instances in which a group of more than 10 individuals are in one location and are unable to maintain a 6-foot distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

 

o   This does not limit the total occupancy of a business, but requires that businesses limit mass gatherings in areas and instances in which physical distancing cannot be maintained such as in entrances, lobbies, locker rooms, etc.

 

 

Activities NOT allowed to open: Establishments NOT allowed to open: Education, Activities, & Venues allowed to operate:
·        Community centers

 

·        Large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000+

 

·        Fairs, festivals, parades, and graduations

 

·        Public swimming pools

 

·        Organized sports facilities

 

·         Summer camps

·        Bars and nightclubs, excluding already operating curbside and carryout services

 

·        Casinos (non-tribal)

 

·        Indoor leisure spaces

 

·        Fitness centers and gyms

 

·         Personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided

·        Childcare facilities

 

·         Libraries

 

  • All businesses not specifically identified in each phase of the reopening plan will be allowed to reopen unless Mitchell County or the Mitchell County Health Department issues an order prohibiting such businesses from opening.
  • As we continue to work through the phases, each business and entity that will not be allowed to be open will be identified in each phase.
  • Industry-specific guidance available at covid.ks.gov.
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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