The Kansas Department for Children and Families continues to operate non-congregate housing facilities across the state to host individuals currently working in, exposed to, or living in congregate settings, COVID-19 positive, exposed or high-risk individuals. DCF is currently managing sites in Dodge City, Emporia, Gardner, Leavenworth, Liberal, and Manhattan. The agency previously managed sites in Garden City and Junction City. Those facilities have since been closed.
Shelters are established to prevent the spread of the virus and maintain operations within critical and essential businesses or services. A request for non-congregate sheltering may be made to the state by a county emergency manager. In addition, the local or state health officer may make a recommendation for a non-congregate shelter if an identified need exists. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management in cooperation with counties, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Department for Children and Families contracts with local hotels to establish the sites. Contracts to date have been for entire hotel facilities with no other guests present.
Not all residents are in the facility due to illness. Some may live in congregate settings, or work in congregate settings or at essential locations and be concerned about returning home due to exposure risk for COVID-19.
- Individuals unable to quarantine at home due to a high-risk person at home
- Individuals who work in a congregate setting
- Immunocompromised individuals
- Adults over 65 years of age
- Chronic lung disease
- Moderate to severe asthma
- Serious heart conditions
- Cancer treatments
- Unable to financially cover independent quarantine
- Or other health issues
Individuals are not required to stay in the facility, however if they leave, the county health officer is notified.
The Department for Children and Families manages the day-to-day operations of each site. Responsibilities include making sure residents receive meals and laundry service, as well as ensuring the facility is cleaned daily and receives a deep cleaning before returning the hotel to normal operations.
The first non-congregate sites were opened in April and sites were added as counties asked for support. Each site will remain open if there is a continued need in the community. Additional sites also may be opened as counties address the continued spread of COVID-19.
Due to HIPAA laws, the exact locations of each site are not made public to protect the privacy of Kansas residents. There is currently a total of 43 people staying in non-congregate housing.