Nov 20, 2020 11:34 PM

Saline County: 152 new confirmed COVID-19 cases since Wednesday

Posted Nov 20, 2020 11:34 PM

Following is the Saline County COVID-19 update for Friday.

We have received notification of 152 new positive COVID-19 cases in Saline County since our last update on Wednesday, November 18th.  The total for the County is now 2,002 with 514 cases that are actively being monitored by the Health Department, 1,471 that have recovered, and a total of 17 deaths. Salina Regional Health Center notified us that they have 31 hospitalized COVID-19 patients.  Our dashboard has been updated with the latest information:

●Mobile Device Users:  https://arcg.is/yjPT1

●Desktop Users:  https://arcg.is/1qHnb0

The Saline County Board of County Commissioners met in a special public meeting today and voted to adopt a Public Health Order.  This order will go into effect at 12:01 am on Sunday, November 22nd.  The Public Health Order limits gatherings within indoor spaces to 15 individuals or less, with exceptions for certain establishments.  The order can be found on the County website www.saline.org/coronavirus.

Health Department Staff has received several inquiries on COVID-19 Antibody Tests.  Here is what you need to know about these types of tests:

●COVID-19 Antibody Tests detect the presence of antibodies, which can reflect if an individual has been recently infected with the COVID-19 virus.  This test is not intended to assure the future risk of contracting COVID-19.  Research is still underway to determine how long antibodies are present following infection and if the presence of antibodies provides protective immunity.

●Individuals CANNOT use the COVID-19 Antibody Test to be dismissed from quarantine and should not assume they are protected from future exposure to the virus.

●COVID Antibody Tests are NOT a substitute for a COVID Test and should not be completed by an individual currently displaying COVID-19 symptoms or feeling ill.

●Regardless of the outcome of the COVID-19 Antibody Test, you still need to observe all public health protective practices of properly using masks or face coverings, physically distance yourself 6 feet or more away from others, wash your hands frequently, and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.

●Individuals are encouraged to share COVID Antibody Test results with their Primary Healthcare Provider.

●Those with the presence of COVID-19 antibodies should consider donating blood to the American Red Cross.  The plasma in your blood contains antibodies that might help patients actively fighting COVID-19 and save lives.

If you have been tested for COVID-19, you need to isolate at home until your test results are back.  Those that are notified of a positive COVID-19 test you should:

●Isolate for at minimum 10 days from symptom onset and be 72 hours fever free and have a significant improvement in symptoms.

●Close Contacts are defined as those persons within 6 feet or less for 10 minutes or more, two days before the positive cases’ symptom onset date.

●Close Contacts need to quarantine for two weeks from their last contact date unless living in the same household, and then it would be two weeks past the positive case’s isolation release date.

●If after several days, the Health Department has not reached out to a close contact, the Health Department may not have been notified of the contact exposure and you will need to notify the Health Department; but please be patient and continue to quarantine until then.

●Stay home if you are sick.  Regardless if you think it may be a cold, it could be allergies, but it also could be something worse.

According to the Kansas Department of Health & Environment, there are now 134,533 cases and 1,410 deaths statewide. This information can be found at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/

Announcements:

●A shelter site, at no cost to an individual, is available for those who cannot isolate or quarantine in their homes and who have tested positive for COVID-19, those individuals who have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, and those living and working in at-risk congregate settings.  This shelter does provide for housing, meals, laundry, and cleaning service so individuals are provided a safe shelter to avoid exposing their household to the COVID-19 virus and help stop the spread of the virus.  For more information or to request this service, please contact your local Emergency Management Department at 785-714-0389 or 785-819-0263 if you need shelter outside of your home.

Following the proven public health guidance to slow the spread of COVID-19 continues to be extremely important for everyone to do.  Please:

●Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with warm soapy water.  Use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water.

●Maintain physical distance between yourself and others of at least 6 feet or more.

●Wear masks in public spaces as required by City Ordinance and County Resolution.  You must cover your nose and mouth for masks to be effective.

●Avoid gatherings.  If you must go, wear a mask, physical distance from others, wash hands, or use hand sanitizer.

●Sanitize frequently touched surfaces and areas such as doorknobs, handles, cell phones, tablets, etc.

●Stay home if you are sick.  Regardless if you think it may be a cold, it could be allergies, but it also could be something worse.

Only follow official sources to obtain information: www.saline.org/coronavirus or www.kdheks.gov.