Updated at 5:31 p.m. March 24, 2020, with additional information.
Three new cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Leavenworth County, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to eight.
The additional cases were announced Tuesday afternoon in a news release from the Leavenworth County Health Department.
The cases involve a woman in her 40s, a man in his 40s and a man in his 30s. They are quarantined in their homes along with family members.
Officials with the Leavenworth County Health Department were working Tuesday to identify people who may have been in close contact with those who recently tested positive for COVID-19.
The three new cases of COVID-19 are not believed to be travel-related, according to Todd Farley, a spokesman for an incident management team for the county’s coronavirus response.
Tuesday marked the first day of enforcement of a new emergency public health order that was issued by Leavenworth County Health Officer Jamie Miller.
The order directs people to stay home but permits them to perform essential activities, such as buying groceries, outside of the home. The order also directs businesses to cease operations but grants exceptions for businesses that are considered essential.
Leavenworth County Undersheriff Jim Sherley said law enforcement officers in the county will help with the enforcement of the order.
"We will be enforcing the order as needed," Sherley said.
Sherley said Tuesday that the Sheriff’s Office was approaching enforcement from an educational standpoint to help people identify when they need to travel and make sure they do so in a safe manner.
He said the order is designed to limit unnecessary travel and unnecessary contact between people.
The undersheriff recommends people purchase a week’s worth of groceries when they go to the store instead of only one or two items at a time.
Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said the Police Department was assessing Tuesday whether people in the city were complying with the order.
Kitchens said he drove around the city Tuesday morning.
"It looks like by and large everybody is in compliance," he said.
Kitchens said failing to comply with the order could be a misdemeanor offense.
"Our main hope is just to gain compliance first, do some education, maybe a warning," said Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.
He said taking action in the form of a citation or an arrest would be the last resort.
But Kitchens said such action is a "very real possibility" if someone refuses to follow the order.
At Fort Leavenworth, entry to the Army installation is now limited to only the main gate as measures are in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus, according to fort spokesman Jeff Wingo.
"We’re really pushing the social distancing measures here," he said.
He said the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College is using virtual instruction. And many other facilities on the post are closed.