• Last modified 712 days ago (June 4, 2020)


No new cases, but nurse expects resurgence of COVID

Staff writer

Although no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county since mid-April, health nurse Diedre Serene expects to see more, possibly even a cluster of them, as more normal activities resume.

Serene said more confirmed cases were likely simply due to more testing and more movement.

New cases also could come from clusters —when multiple people are exposed by the same person or at the same location.

“Until we get those lab cases, I don’t know where,” Serene.

“This strategy is subject to change when we experience a cluster in Marion County,” Serene said. “At that time the health department will issue specific health orders in response.”

For now, she she is not imposing a limit on mass gatherings, but encourages people to follow recommendations of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment that limit gatherings to 15 people until Monday and 45 after that.

“I will not direct what businesses should or should not remain closed,” she said. “When they open, they are strongly encouraged to follow the guidelines posted by KDHE.”

Serene continues to recommend people remain home when they are sick; practice social distancing of six feet from others; thoroughly wash or sanitize hands frequently; and wear masks in public.

She also recommends people at high risk of complications continue to stay home as much as possible, leave home only for essential needs or exercise, and wear a mask when they come into contact with others.

She also would like to see people keep of journal of their movement, including date, time and location.

Serene said that although she was not ordering restaurants to close buffets where customers serve themselves, she would like it if they did so.

“You have that communal ladle,” Serene said.

Clusters might be identified with more widespread and rapid testing.

If a person tests positive, a quarantine or isolation may be ordered.

People placed in quarantine or isolation will receive a letter. Quarantine and isolation orders can be enforced by police, she said.

How quickly COVID-19 test results are available depends on what laboratory the test is sent to and could take as long as seven days to be available.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Last modified June 4, 2020