Marshall County Health Department nurse Sue Rhodes asked the public to take more precautions against a coronavirus pandemic that continued to grow in recent days to 16 active cases and 22 pending tests on Tuesday.
The total included three Marysville High School students and a staff member and a student at Frankfort High School.
In several cases around the county, people have been quarantined for exposure to others with COVID-19 here or outside the county.
Rhodes said there were no cases in elementary schools and none in nursing homes so far.
“Please social distance, wear a face mask, wash hands and follow isolation and quarantine guidance given to you by the health department,” she said after a week with the greatest increase in COVID-19 case count so far.
“We should have a countywide goal of keeping ourselves, our families and friends safe, healthy and alive during this season of COVID-19 with influenza,” Rhodes said. “Please get a flu shot as an added layer of defense against these viruses.”
Monday’s report on Facebook from county health officials included one hospitalization. The county’s tally of positive and recovered cases was 61.
With more cases in the county and flu clinics to conduct, Rhodes and her staff have less time to compile reports to post on Facebook and will post them only on Mondays and Thursdays.
At Community Memorial Healthcare, administrator Curtis Hawkinson continued to express concern about the shortage of personal protective equipment, referred to as PPE.
“We’re still receiving only limited allocations from our suppliers for surgical masks, gowns and gloves. We have been fortunate to get supplies from the state stockpile, which has kept us having sufficient PPE for the moment,” Hawkinson said Friday. “But normal supply chains are still way behind trying to keep up with demand across the nation.”
Marysville’s hospital and local clinics have gotten state stockpile supplies through the Marshall County Emergency Management Office, he said, which has been a “big help.”
In response to the rising case count, Marysville City Council returned to live streaming its meeting online Monday rather than allowing the public into the meeting at the City Building. The live stream is viewable on the city’s Facebook page.
Council members and city staff members wore masks during the meeting.
The health department continues to administer flu vaccines at special outreach clinics in local towns and through its office at Sixth and Broadway in Marysville. To reach the office, people can call 785-562-3485.
Rhodes said the time required for COVID-19 case investigations and contact tracing can quickly overwhelm the health department staff, which she said has done a “fantastic” job, especially now that flu season is here.
“Wear a mask,” Rhodes said of protecting others. “I really don’t know what else to do to make people believe it’s real. We’re doing everything we can.”
As of Monday, the state of Kansas had a total 67,862 people infected with COVID-19 so far, and many of those have recovered. There have been 771 deaths and 3,239 hospitalizations.
In area counties, Nemaha County health officials pleaded with the public to take COVID-19 seriously. The county had 71 active cases Monday, according to health department nurse Jane Sunderland.
Washington County reported three active cases and three pending tests.
Riley County reported 132 active cases and three hospitalizations. The city of Manhattan is the only one in this region to require masks. The county has had nine deaths so far this year.
Riley County Health Department, KDHE and the Kansas National Guard will host free COVID-19 testing in Manhattan City Park 5 to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday.
Just north of Marshall County in Gage County, Neb., 89 people tested positive in the past 14 days, according to the Nebraska health department.
In Lancaster County, Neb., with the city of Lincoln, 1,158 positive tests were reported in the past two weeks.