When they met Wednesday, Leavenworth County commissioners were briefed on a process that will be followed as county officials look to begin lifting or modifying restrictions related to the coronavirus.
County Administrator Mark Loughry said there will be a slow reopening.
But before that can begin, there needs to be adequate testing for the coronavirus. There also needs to be 14 days of a decline in new cases, he said.
“I believe our numbers are starting to trend down,” Loughry said.
Loughry said county officials will look at excluding the number of Lansing Correctional Facility inmates who test positive for COVID-19 for meeting the criteria for a decline in new cases. Loughry said the LCF inmate cases would be excluded because there is not a danger of community spread of the disease from the inmates.
“Because obviously they are not out in the community,” he said.
Loughry said it also appears the Leavenworth County Health Department will be able to increase testing for COVID-19.
“So I think that will help,” Loughry said.
Loughry said he is in daily contact with Leavenworth County Health Officer Jamie Miller.
Loughry said any statewide stay-at-home order would remain in effect regardless of conditions in the county.
“We can’t supersede the state’s order,” he said.
A stay-at-home issued by Gov. Laura Kelly is scheduled to expire May 3.
Depending on what additional actions the governor takes, county commissioners may be asked to have a special meeting late next week.
Loughry said the special meeting would be scheduled to discuss the next step for the county. He said county officials want to have something ready if the statewide stay-at-home order does expire May 3.
Commissioner Mike Stieben asked what happens if Leavenworth County is impacted by conditions in other counties in the Kansas City area.
“I think we have to look at what is going on next door to us because it is literally right across the street in some cases,” Loughry said.
He said Leavenworth County officials will have to take into consideration the location of some of the COVID-19 cases being reported in neighboring counties. He noted that Wyandotte County has a cluster of cases at a nursing facility that would not necessarily pose a danger of spreading the disease to the general community.