First COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Pottawatomie County


Pottawatomie County, Kansas – On Monday, November 16, 2020, Pottawatomie County Health Department announced the first and possibly second COVID-19 related deaths for Pottawatomie County. Final confirmation from KDHE is pending. The first patient was a 79-year old female; the second was an 87-year old male. Pottawatomie County expresses our deepest condolences to their families, friends, and loved ones.

These mark the first deaths caused by the novel coronavirus in Pottawatomie County. Contact investigations are ongoing and any identified close contacts should quarantine at home and monitor for symptoms. The Health Department is working tirelessly, and may not have time to reach out to all close contacts timely. Therefore, if you have tested positive, please notify any of your close contacts (anyone that was within six feet for more than 10 minutes – the 10 minutes need not be consecutive). This includes anyone that meets the “close contact” criteria starting 48 hours prior to your first symptom (or 48 hours prior to receipt of positive results if asymptomatic). Those close contacts should quarantine for 14-days. Liz Parthemer, Pottawatomie County Health Officer shares, “This is not a time to let our guard down. Our hospitals are seeing an increase in numbers of positive COVID patients across the county.

Help us to stop the spread of COVID19.

WEAR A Mask in public — Social distance by 6 feet — Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water”

KDHE has released guidelines ( for quarantine and isolation of those exposed to or confirmed positive with COVID-19. These guidelines are available on our website and Facebook page. Please remember, if you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately. Do not visit in-person prior to receiving confirmation from that healthcare provider.

County residents can stay informed by visiting the County’s website, Facebook Page, or by visiting or

For general information, contact the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) or email . You may also contact the County Health Department at 785-457-3719 or email

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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