At least two cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed in Leavenworth County.
Leavenworth County Health Department officials announced Wednesday afternoon that two people in the county have tested positive for the disease, which is known as COVID-19.
“Leavenworth County Health Department has been preparing the community and knew the virus would present itself to our county within a matter of time,” Jamie Miller, Leavenworth County health officer, said in a news release.
The first affected person is in his or her 40s and has a recent international travel history. The second affected individual is a woman in her 20s who has had no recent travel history, according to the news release from the Health Department.
Both individuals are said to be quarantined at their homes along with any family members.
No other information about the two people has been provided.
The positive cases were identified through testing sent to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s laboratories.
Leavenworth County Health Department officials are working to identify any close contacts these people may have had. Those who may have been exposed will be contacted by Health Department as soon as possible.
Word of the first two confirmed cases came a day after Miller issued an emergency order to limit gatherings of 10 or more people in the county.
Restaurants, bars and movie theaters were ordered to close. But restaurants can continue to offer carryout, drive-through and delivery services.
Miller will reevaluate the order April 1.
During a Leavenworth County Commission meeting Wednesday morning, County Administrator Mark Loughry read a statement intended to clarify the county health officer’s order.
Loughry said a restaurant can allow indoor seating if there are means of ensuring there will be no more than 10 people inside the building and there is adequate social distancing.
“Fitness facilities due to the nature of use should consider closing,” Loughry said.
He also said businesses that by their nature do not allow social distancing, such as barbershops and beauty salons, should be closed to the public.
Loughry said these rules do not apply to businesses that are considered to be critical infrastructure such as health care services, pharmacies and grocery stores.
“Those businesses have a special responsibility to maintain normal operations,” he said.
Most county offices were closed to the public on Tuesday. The offices are scheduled to remain closed for at least two weeks.
Wednesday’s County Commission meeting was conducted without members of the public in attendance. But the meeting was live-streamed on the internet.
Two of the five commissioners, Vicky Kaaz and Chad Schimke, also were not in the room, but they participated by telephone.
Loughry has recommended that at least two commissioners participate in meetings through teleconferencing to avoid the risk of all five commissioners being exposed to the coronavirus at the same time.
Most offices for the city of Leavenworth government also have been closed to the public until further notice.
City Manager Paul Kramer said members of the public will not be allowed to attend next week’s Leavenworth City Commission meeting. But people will be able to watch the meeting on the internet and on a local government access channel.
Kramer said there has not been any discussion about preventing all five city commissioners from being in the same room at one time.
City offices in other communities in the county also have been closed to the public.
Leavenworth County Health Department officials urge members of the public to continue to take appropriate precautions. Everyone should practice good hygiene, stay informed, practice social distancing and limit in-person interactions, according to the Health Department news release.
People who are experiencing symptoms such as cough, fever or other respiratory problems should call their health care providers or an urgent care clinic first to determine if testing is needed.
If a person’s symptoms are mild, he or she should not go to the emergency room, as this resource needs to remain available for those with the most critical needs, according to the news release.