Mitchell County COVID-19 Update – 11/18/2020


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Dear Mitchell County Residents, 

Mitchell County has continued to witness significant increases ofCOVID-19 throughout our communities, placing greater impacts on our healthcare and school systems. The following statement was given by Jeremy Armstrong, CEO of the Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems, on Tuesday, November 17th, 2020.

“MCHHS has experienced a significant surge in the number of COVID-19 positive patients and staff. Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems currently has 5 positive patients in their COVID Unit and 3 positive patients in the Special Care Unit. Two residents in the Resident Care Center also tested positive. MCHHS is sad to report the death of 2 Special Care Unit patients who were COVID-19 positive. The patients were admissions from out of state. Hospital administration is asking that the community put the health of our community first and wear a mask, socially distance, avoid gatherings of any size, wash your hands frequently, and stay home when you are sick.”

In addition to the 2 deaths reported from the Special Care Unit, a wedding that took place in Beloit, KS on November 7th, 2020 has been linked to multiple positive patients over the past week and a half. Due to the number of positive cases resulting from this event, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has deemed it to fit outbreak criteria. If you attended this wedding and are showing symptoms of COVID-19, please isolate at home and call your doctor if you feel you need to be medically evaluated. 

On Monday, November 16th, 2020 the Mitchell County Commissioners, acting in their capacity as the Mitchell County Board of Health, did make a motion to recommend the wearing of masks due to increased COVID-19 cases in Mitchell County. Within the motion made by Mike Cooper and seconded by Tom Claussen, there was a recommendation to maintain social distancing and to limit gatherings, as well as asking that all businesses participate in the recommendation. These recommendations are in conjunction with Executive Order No. 20-52 placed by Governor Laura Kelly, requiring masks or other face coverings in public settings. The motion was carried by a unanimous vote. While a mass gathering limit is not in place for Mitchell County, this is a current topic of discussion and will be further discussed in the upcoming weeks.

As stated in a previous press release, with the holiday season upon us now is the time for everyone to please do your part to ensure the health and safety of our community, including our vulnerable populations. Thank you for everyone doing your part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Cortney Murrow, Administrator
Mitchell County Health Department

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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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