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Saline County COVID-19 Update: 135 New Cases, 3 Additional Deaths

SALINA – There are 135 new positive COVID-19 cases in Saline County that have been identified since the Friday, December 4 report, according to a media release from the Saline County Health Department.

The total for the county is now 2,921, with 962 cases that are actively being monitored by the Health Department. The total number of recoveries for Saline County is now at 1,925. The Health Department also reported 3 additional deaths Wednesday, bringing the total number to 34 in Saline County. There have been 8,961 negative tests countywide.

Salina Regional Health Center is now reporting that they have 34 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is now reporting 174,025 cases and 1,856 deaths statewide. This information can be found by clicking or tapping here.

“We appreciate everyone who is following the guidelines for public gatherings, mask ordinances, and quarantine protocols,” the Health Department said. “You are saving lives.”

Saline County implemented new isolation and quarantine protocols based upon the options provided by the Center for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on December 5. Anyone under a 14-day quarantine as of December 5th should finish the quarantine. There has been no change to the isolation protocol. Those under an isolation order should remain in isolation for 10 days with at least 72 hours fever-free without the aid of medication.

The quarantine protocol has been shortened from 14 days to 10 days with no symptom development. It is important to remember that the date of exposure is Day 0 and to continue to monitor for symptom for 14 days. The 14-day quarantine still applies to residents of long-term care facilities and assisted living and inmates at correctional facilities.

“The CDC has opted for a shorter quarantine period in an effort to reduce burden and increase community compliance,” said Jason Tiller, Saline County Health Department Director and Health Officer. “Additionally, the CDC determined there is a small risk of post-quarantine infection.”

This is an ever-evolving situation. Please continue to follow official sources to obtain the most accurate information possible.

Health Department staff continue to be overwhelmed and several days behind with contacting new positive cases and close contacts. “We have added staff and some cases being routed to contact tracers at KDHE, but still, we are behind,” the Health Department said. “Thank you for your patience. If you have tested positive or you are known to be a close contact, please do not call the Health Department unless at least three days have passed and you have not heard from us. We understand that for both employees and employers, quarantine or isolation documentation may be necessary to verify a leave of absence. However, with being several days behind, we are unable to produce the necessary documentation immediately.”

Following the proven public health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 continues to be extremely important for everyone to do. Please:

  1. Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water. Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.
  2. Maintain physical distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet or more.
  3. Wear masks in public spaces as required by City Ordinance and County Resolution. Masks do not prevent you from getting COVID-19, the flu, or other contagious diseases but they do, however, prevent other people from catching certain diseases from you. You must cover your nose and mouth for masks to be effective.
  4. Avoid gatherings.  If you must go, wear a mask, physical distance from others, wash hands, or use hand sanitizer.
  5. Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and areas such as doorknobs, handles, cell phones, tablets, etc.
  6. Stay home if you are sick. Regardless if you think it may be a cold, it could be allergies, but it also could be something worse.

If you have been tested for COVID-19, you need to isolate in your home until your test results are back. Do not go to work or school, do not allow visitors to enter your house, arrange for delivery of groceries and food, and monitor yourself for symptoms. Those that are notified of a positive COVID-19 test should take the following precautions:

  • If you have severe symptoms, immediately call your primary care provider and follow their directions.
  • Isolate yourself in your home. Isolation means that you should not come in contact with anyone, should not leave your house, and should not allow visitors to enter your house.
  • Make a list of everyone that you had close contact with (10 minutes within 6 feet) starting two days before symptoms appeared; or if not exhibiting symptoms, two days before the date the laboratory test was performed.
  • Keep note of what staff members at the Health Department you speak to. This will make it easier to connect you to the right person should you have additional questions.

Saline County’s dashboard has been updated to include age ranges of cases in active isolation, recovered, and deceased. This dashboard is updated on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays by 5 p.m.

The Health Department reminds everyone to watch for symptoms of COVID-19, which may vary from person to person and can include:

  • Fever (100.4 degrees or higher)
  • Chills
  • Shaking or exaggerated shivering
  • Muscle pain or muscle ache
  • General discomfort, uneasiness or pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New smell and taste disorders
  • Diarrhea

Here’s what you can do to help stop the spread:

  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wear masks in public settings
  • Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings
  • Avoid socializing with large groups
  • High-risk individuals should only leave the house for essential needs
    Wash your hands frequently

Only follow official sources to obtain information: www.saline.org/coronavirus or www.kdheks.gov.