The total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Leavenworth County has topped 900. A significant majority of the cases have been reported among the inmate population at the Lansing Correctional Facility.
The Leavenworth County Health Department reported Friday afternoon that a total of 906 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county since the beginning of the outbreak. Of those, 733 involve inmates at the state prison in Lansing and 173 involve people who live elsewhere in the county.
The number of inmate COVID-19 cases at LCF have increased sharply since Kansas Department of Corrections officials announced last week that all inmates at the prison are being tested.
Of the 173 “community” cases in the county, 102 are considered active at that this time, according to the Health Department.
Six Leavenworth County residents who tested positive for the coronavirus have died. This includes three LCF inmates.
Kansans are reaching the end of the first week of phase one of Gov. Laura Kelly’s three-phase plan to reopen the state by gradually easing restrictions related to COVID-19.
Schools across the state remain closed because of concerns about the coronavirus. And officials with the Leavenworth public schools have had to postpone plans for graduation events based on guidance they received Friday from the governor’s office.
District officials had planned to start individual diploma presentations to graduating seniors during the coming week. But the presentations are on hold for now.
On Friday, the governor’s office sent a letter to school superintendents clarifying that “all in-person graduation events or ceremonies are currently prohibited” during phase one of Kelly’s plan.
Graduation events will be allowed during phase two under certain guidelines. The earliest phase two will begin is May 18.
“We are extremely disheartened by the delay on behalf of this year’s seniors, and are anxious to publicly celebrate their hard work and dedication in the classroom,” an announcement from the Leavenworth school district stated.
According to the announcement, Leavenworth High School graduation ceremonies will be rescheduled once phase two of the governor’s plan begins. Under the conditions of phase two, each senior can be accompanied to his or her individual diploma presentation by up to 20 guests as long as social distancing guidelines are observed.
Jake Potter, director of public relations for the school district, said a senior vehicle processional scheduled for May 16 also will be postponed. Potter said in an email that this event can be rescheduled for May 23 if the state has entered phase two of the governor’s plan by then.
After being closed for several weeks because of the COVID-19 crisis, some of the state driver’s license offices will reopen Tuesday, according to a news release from the Kansas Department of Revenue.
For now, the driver’s license office in Leavenworth will remain closed. But a Lawrence office in neighboring Douglas County will reopen Tuesday. Services at the office will be limited to essential services. Appointments are required.
An office in Edgerton in neighboring Johnson County also will reopen Tuesday but only for commercial driver’s licenses.
Extensions of deadlines for renewing driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations remain in effect, according to the news release from the Kansas Department of Revenue.
For more information, visit www.ksrevenue.org/reopening.html