Saline County COVID-19 Update: 152 New Cases, County Commission Approves New Restrictions

SALINA – There are 152 new positive COVID-19 cases in Saline County that have been identified since the Wednesday, November 18 report, according to a media release from the Saline County Health Department.

The total for the county is now 2,002, with 514 cases that are actively being monitored by the Health Department. The total number of recoveries for Saline County is now at 1,471. The total number of deaths in Saline County remains at 17. There have been a total of 7,904 negative tests in the county. Salina Regional Health Center is now reporting that they have 31 hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is now reporting 134,533 cases and 1,410 deaths statewide. This information can be found by clicking or tapping here.

The Saline County Board of County Commissioners met in a special public meeting today and voted to adopt a Public Health Order. This order will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, November 22. The Public Health Order limits gatherings within indoor spaces to 15 individuals or less, with exceptions for certain establishments. Bars and restaurants can remain open with some restrictions and will only be permitted to do business between 5 a.m. and midnight. Gyms, health clubs, and physical fitness type businesses can also remain open, with some restrictions. Auditoriums, theaters, and churches can also remain open, with some restrictions. All businesses are expected to enforce masking and social distancing. The full order and new restrictions can be viewed by by clicking or tapping here.

Health Department Staff has received several inquiries on COVID-19 Antibody Tests. Here is what you need to know about these types of tests:

  • COVID-19 Antibody Tests detect the presence of antibodies, which can reflect if an individual has been recently infected with the COVID-19 virus. This test is not intended to assure the future risk of contracting COVID-19. Research is still underway to determine how long antibodies are present following infection and if the presence of antibodies provides protective immunity.
  • Individuals CANNOT use the COVID-19 Antibody Test to be dismissed from quarantine and should not assume they are protected from future exposure to the virus.
  • COVID Antibody Tests are NOT a substitute for a COVID Test and should not be completed by an individual currently displaying COVID-19 symptoms or feeling ill.
  • Regardless of the outcome of the COVID-19 Antibody Test, you still need to observe all public health protective practices of properly using masks or face coverings, physically distance yourself 6 feet or more away from others, wash your hands frequently, and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.
  • Individuals are encouraged to share COVID Antibody Test results with their Primary Healthcare Provider.
  • Those with the presence of COVID-19 antibodies should consider donating blood to the American Red Cross. The plasma in your blood contains antibodies that might help patients actively fighting COVID-19 and save lives.

A shelter site, at no cost to an individual, is available for those who cannot isolate or quarantine in their homes and who have tested positive for COVID-19, those individuals who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, and those living and working in at-risk congregate settings. This shelter does provide for housing, meals, laundry, and cleaning service so individuals are provided a safe shelter to avoid exposing their household to the COVID-19 virus and help stop the spread of the virus. For more information or to request this service, please contact your local Emergency Management Department at 785-714-0389 or 785-819-0263 if you need shelter outside of your home.

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, there are now 134,533 cases and 1,410 deaths statewide. This information can be found by clicking or tapping here.

If you have been tested for COVID-19, you need to isolate in your home until your test results are back. Those that are notified of a positive COVID-19 test you should:

  • Isolate for at minimum 10 days from symptom onset and be 72 hours fever free and have a significant improvement in symptoms.
  • Close Contacts are defined as those persons within 6 feet or less for 10 minutes of more two days before the positive cases’ symptom onset date.
  • Close Contacts need to quarantine for two weeks from their last contact date unless living in the same household, and then it would be two weeks past the positive case’s isolation release date.
  • If after several days, the Health Department has not reached out to a close contact, the Health Department may not have been notified of the contact exposure and you will need to notify the Health Department; but please be patient and continue to quarantine until then.

We’ve been in this pandemic for over ten months, and with it also being cold and flu season, it is just as important now as it has always been to continue to do the things that we know works to help prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19:

  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.

Advertisement