Commissioners hear important health reminders

The Marion County Board of Commissioners had a different meeting than normal on Monday, August 31. In addition to payroll for the end of the month, there were no road and bridge updates, several executive sessions and fewer topics than normal.

While all of the commissioners were present as well as County Clerk Tina Spencer and County Attorney Brad Jantz, Marion County Health Administrator Diedre Serene was not available to give her update. She did send her update in by email and it was informative.

According to the report, as of Monday morning, Marion County has a total of 74 cases with 58 of those confirmed positive and 16 probable. Only nine of those cases were currently active and isolated as of Monday morning. Their contacts had been quarantined. There were zero hospitalizations.

The report explained that probable cases mean:

1. there are no confirmed laboratory testing performed for COVID-19, but it meets clinical criteria and epidemiological evidence or contact of a confirmed case or

  1. there is presumptive laboratory evidence for COVID-19, it meets either clinical criteria or epidemiological evidence or
  2. it meets vital record criteria with no confirmed laboratory testing performed for COVID-19.

Serene’s report stated that the positive testing rate for Marion Co. is 4.8 percent. She explained that the numbers on the KDHE website are a bit different as the health department is including Tabor’s tests in reporting numbers as well as the fact that the KDHE numbers often have a lag time.

The Commissioners also learned that after Labor day, KDHE will start to identify colleges and universities, correctional facilities, long term care facilities, healthcare and group living places, daycares (but not home daycares), school and gatherings that have five-plus cases. They will list meatpacking and private businesses with 10 plus cases.

Serene cautioned that with schools starting after Labor Day, the community cannot lose respect for how infections the virus is and how efficiently it spreads. Mitigation efforts will seem slow to decrease numbers in light of how quickly numbers rise. It is important to remember to be diligent to follow the same actions that the health department has been consistently telling everyone in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19:

  •  Stay home when sick
  •  Practice social distancing
  •  Practice thorough handwashing with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  •  Wear a mask in public

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