Press Releases and Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2020

Dear Residents of Seward County, Kansas:

With respect to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Seward County, Kansas (in all aspects of its organization) is committed to protecting your health, safety and well-being, and we are communicating and working closely with all of our local agencies and government entities to prepare a community-wide plan for management of this event. We are also considering the recommendations and guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
To that end, here are some updates:

1. As of March 15, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Seward County.

2. As of March 15, the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has taken the following actions:

∎ Friday, March 13, the BOCC met and voted to cancel all activities at the Activity Center and AG Building from Sunday, March 15 until Saturday, April 11.

∎ Sunday, March 15, the BOCC met and voted to establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located at 1411 W. 15th Street (the corner of 15th and Western). The EOC will serve as a central location for coordinating local efforts regarding communication and response management of the COVID-19 situation. This is an administrative response location, and is NOT a health response related location. No medical services will be available at this location. Health response locations are still offices of local health care providers; the Seward County Health Department located at 103 W. 2nd Street; local urgent care providers and Southwest Medical Center.

3. The BOCC will have its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the administration building, with business to be conducted per the previously released agenda. The agenda includes an item for general discussion and updates related to COVID-19.
***THIS IS AN OPEN MEETING. HOWEVER, FOR PUBLIC HEALTH REASONS, THE PUBLIC IS ENCOURAGED TO VIEW THE MEETING ONLINE (www.sewardcountyks.org) OR THROUGH FACEBOOK LIVE (Seward County, KS- Government) INSTEAD OF ATTENDING IN PERSON.***

4. These are some other known community related closures or cancellations:
∎ Seward County Community College (SCCC) has postponed class until March 23.
SCCC has also closed the Wellness Center indefinitely. Please see SCCC
information sites for more information and updates.

∎ USD 480 has postponed class for March 16 - 20. Please see USD 480
information sites for more information and updates.

∎ The City of Liberal has closed the recreation center for the week - no gym or
batting cages, the office will still be open. Contact the recreation center at
(620) 626-0133 with questions or please see City of Liberal information sites for more information and updates.

∎ City bus service will run Monday, March 16, and more information about service
will be sent out once it is available. Please see City of Liberal information sites for more information and updates.

∎ USD 483 is on Spring Break for March 16 -20, and will make a decision during
the week about classes after this week. Please see USD 483 information sites
for more information and updates.

∎ The Mid-America Air Museum (MAAM) is closed for the week. Please see City of
Liberal information sites or MAAM information sites for more information and updates.

∎ The Seward County Museum and Dorothy’s House are closed for at least a week. Please refer to their information sites for more information or updates, or call at (620) 624-7624.

∎ The Senior Center is closed for at least a week. The Meals on Wheels program
will continue. Please refer to their information sites for more information or updates, or call at (620) 624-2511.

∎ The jury trial at the Seward County Courthouse scheduled to begin on Monday,
March 16, will not occur. If you received a jury summons for that date, you DO NOT need to appear for jury duty. The courthouse will still be open for other regular business. For questions, please call the court clerk at (620) 626-3375.

5. Regarding large group events, no official action has been taken at this time to limit public gatherings in Seward County. However, the public is strongly encouraged to follow guidelines issued by the CDC or KDHE, which at this time recommends against attending public gatherings. While the number for public gatherings has been variously 500 people, 250 people, and 100 people, there is no magic number. Additionally, whether an event is inside or outside also matters. Generally, the more people, the more risk, and the more closely confined people are, more risk. It is generally recommended to cancel or postpone events. Please use your own common sense and discretion.

6. To protect yourself and your family: Practice good hygiene; wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol if you cannot wash your hands; cover your coughs and sneezes; avoid touching your face; and stay at home and avoid public places as much as possible (see paragraph 5 above).

7. If you feel you have COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has it, please contact your local physician first, and follow their advice for screening to assess your situation. If you cannot get a response from your local physician, you can also contact the Seward County Health Department at 620-626-3369, or Southwest Medical Center at 620-624-1651. Please call ahead before arriving at a facility to allow staff to prepare for your arrival.

This is a situation which evolves and changes quickly. We will do our best to keep our community up-to-date with current, factual information.

Important Phone Numbers:

Seward County Health Department: 620-626-3369
Southwest Medical Center: 620-624-1651
Kansas Department of Health and Environment hotline: 1-866-534-3463

SEWARD COUNTY COMMISSION

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