Mitchell County Health Department Update


Dear Mitchell County Residents,

Earlier this week Governor Kelly announced she will sign an Executive Order requiring the majority of Kansans to wear a mask while in a public space. The Executive Order is intended to go into effect on July 3rd, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. At the health department, we have received many questions and concerns in regards to how this will affect our community. Although the Executive Order was announced on Monday, it was not released until this morning and our staff will be working today to review the order and gain further understanding. Additionally, the Mitchell County Board of Health (County Commissioners) are also expected to address the Executive Order next week.

With that being said, businesses in our community, whether following organizational guidance or a choice made by the business owner, may require the use of masks while in their facility. The businesses in our county have put forth a tremendous effort to protect themselves and members of our community while in their facilities, and during this time it is important to continue to proceed with the same patience and understanding in the months to come.

Additionally, with an increase of positive cases throughout Kansas and an increase in events occurring within our county, we urge everyone to continue to proceed with caution. If you have acquaintances that will be traveling from outside our county please ensure all measures are being taken to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and reduce the spread of infection. While attending events or gatherings, please follow recommendations put forth by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including social distancing, hand hygiene, masks in public when appropriate, and so on.

Lastly, if you have come into contact with a known positive COVID-19 person, contact the Mitchell County Health Department for further education and guidance. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please call ahead to your health care provider for further instructions prior to arriving at the facility. We thank all our community members for diligence demonstrated in recent months and encourage everyone to continue the same efforts moving forward.

Websites to access further information:


Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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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