Here's Saline County's COVID-19 update for Thursday:
The Saline County Health Department does not have any additional cases of COVID-19 to report today. The Health Department continues to actively monitor two cases who are isolated at home. The rest have met the criteria necessary to be considered recovered and have been released from daily monitoring and isolation.
•The Department for Children and Families announced the creation of the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program. This program will help families who have been impacted by school closures due to COVID-19 to purchase food for their children. This program provides a one-time benefit of up to $291 on a Kansas Benefits Card to Kansas families whose children between the ages of 5 to 18 would receive free or reduced-priced meals at participating schools. Visit their website for additional information: www.dcf.ks.gov.
•A new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that will provide direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic was announced by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. For additional information on how agricultural businesses can apply for assistance, please visit https://www.farmers.gov/cfap.
Phase 2 of the Ad Astra Reopening Plan begins on Friday, May 22nd. Information on Phase 2 and additional guidance documents can be found on our website: www.saline.org/coronavirus. Here are the highlights in Phase 2:
•Mass gatherings of 15 or fewer individuals.
•All businesses/activities allowed in Phase 1 and 1.5 may continue to operate with outlined social distancing, mass gathering, and public health restrictions.
•Nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors, and other personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided may continue to operate, but only for prescheduled appointments.
•Fitness centers and health clubs may continue to operate. In-person group classes will be allowed to begin with groups of no more than 15 individuals at a time. Locker rooms remain closed except for restroom facilities.
•Community Centers may open as long as they follow the mass gatherings and social distancing restrictions. Due to the high-risk population concerns, the Saline County Senior Center will remain closed; but meals on wheels will continue.
•Indoor leisure paces such as movie theaters, trampoline parks, theaters, museums, and bowling allies may open as long as they follow the mass gathering and social distancing restrictions.
•State-owned and operated casinos will be allowed to operate as long as they follow social distancing and mass gathering restrictions.
•Organized sports facilities, games, and sports practice may operate as long as they follow outlined mass gatherings and social distancing guidelines AND follow guidelines established by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.
•In-person commencement or graduation ceremonies may continue to occur with no more than 15 individuals in a room, gymnasium, or facility at one time so long as 6-foot social distancing is maintained.
Under Phase 2 these are the things that are NOT allowed to take place:
•Opening of bars and night clubs.
•Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more.
•Fairs, festivals, carnivals, and parades.
•Swimming pools (other than backyard pools and those used for physical therapy or first-responder training).
•Summer camps unless they are a licensed child care facility.
Reopening Kansas comes by milestones, not on a timetable. Progress will be measured by monitoring our testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace, and the availability of personal protectiveequipment. He re’s what you can do to help reach reopening milestones:
•Stay home if you’re sick.
•Wear masks in public settings.
•Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings.
•Avoid socializing with large groups.
•High-risk individuals should only leave the house for essential needs.
•Minimize nonessential travel.
•Check-in (via phone/letter/text/email) with friends and family who are isolated.
•Wash your hands frequently.