Riley County commissioners brush up on quarantine protocols

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Riley County Health Department is making sure the county and Riley County commission are ready in the event a coronavirus outbreak occurs in the county.

Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Andrew Adams says the reason for the presentation was due to the recent coronavirus outbreak that has been in the news. He started by reassuring the commission that the risk of the virus in the county and even the country is still very low.

“These processes and protocols are already established.  We train and plan over these things.  Just because the virus is new, doesn’t mean what we are doing is new,” says Adams.

Adams says the health department finalized the response plan back in 2016.  The guidelines are part of larger plan to overall stop the spread of the disease.

The plan consists of what the department, commission, and other related partners would need to do in the event of a quarantine. The decision would be consulted with the hospital, state officials, and the CDC. They hope to not have to bring people to the hospital to quarantine them, but rather keep them in their homes.

Commissioner John Ford thanked Adams for this presentation. He says while the risk maybe low, it is still important to have these discussions and having a plan.

“Having a coordinated response, if that happens, I think changes that,” says Ford.

Health Department Director Julie Gibbs says their department is checking the CDC’s website everyday for updates on the virus.  So far in the U.S., there have been 427 cases or persons under investigations, with 14 confirmed cases of the virus and no deaths.  There have been no cases in Kansas.

Earlier this week, the World Health Organization announced an official name for the disease that is causing the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

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Sam Hennigh

County government and school board reporter. 2016 Kansas State University graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications. Kansas born and raised.

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