Readers have asked the Great Bend Tribune what county officials mean when reporting that someone who tested positive for COVID-19 “has a history of travel.” Public Information Officer Donna Zimmerman responded that the information lets the public know the person has been outside of Barton County.
“It’s not necessarily a defined place,” Zimmerman said. By saying someone had a history of travel it lets people know “their exposure may go beyond our immediate communities.”
Currently, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is recommending a 14-day mandatory home quarantine for people in Kansas who have:
• Traveled to a state with known widespread community transmission:
- California, Florida, New York and Washington state on or after March 15
- Illinois and New Jersey on or after March 23
- Traveled to Louisiana and anywhere in Colorado on or after March 27
- Traveled to Connecticut on or after April 6
• Visited any of the following counties within the state of Colorado a week prior to or after March 15:
- Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties
• Traveled internationally on or after March 15.
- People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their international travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran should finish out their quarantine.
• Traveled on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15.
- People who have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should finish out their quarantine.
Note: These mandates do not apply to people who work in critical infrastructure sectors needed to continue operations during this pandemic. Public health, hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical and food supply, along with others, are defined as critical infrastructure sectors by the Department of Homeland Security.
Anyone who has traveled recently and meets one of the mandatory quarantine criteria should stay home and monitor symptoms, including checking for a fever of 100.4 (F) or higher at least twice per day and monitoring for lower respiratory symptoms including cough or shortness of breath. Do not attend work or any other setting where you are not able to maintain about a 6-foot distance from other people. If you become ill and need to seek medical attention, let your provider know that you have traveled recently or have been otherwise exposed to COVID-19.
Currently, KDHE does not consider travel within Kansas as a criterion for travel-related quarantine.
Keep yourself and others safe
The best way to prevent COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus. Take the following steps to minimize your risk:
• Stay home as much as possible.
• Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Distance yourself from others when in public, especially if you are a senior or have a medical condition that puts you in a high-risk category.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth mask when in public.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with an elbow or tissue. Throw the used tissue away and immediately wash your hands.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily – including phones, keyboards, doorknobs, handles and light switches.
For more details and to view this information in other languages online, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html.