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Saline County Plans For Reopening

Todd PittengerMay 29, 2020

Local officials have prepared a plan to reopen Saline County.

The following plan will be presented to the Saline County Commission on Tuesday by Saline County Health Officer Jason Tiller:

Saline County must remain flexible to account for the evolving nature and scope of this unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19, while also simultaneously begin the process of safely, strategically, and incrementally reopening business and facilitating economic recovery.

Effective on May 27th, 2020, the Saline County Health Officer issued a local health order that continued to follow Phase 2 of the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. Moving forward, the Health Officer is issuing a plan that takes a proactive approach to both incrementally reopening businesses and activities while still mitigating the further spread of COVID-19.

Disease spread, hospitalization rates, death rates, and the ability to contact trace will be evaluated before recommending Saline County move to the next phase. Please be aware if local hospitals begin to be overwhelmed with COVID-19 related patients, the Local Health Officer will implement restrictive orders to support hour healthcare infrastructure.

The Saline County Health Officer will present this plan to the Board of Health (Saline County Commissioners) at their meeting on Tuesday, June 2nd at 9am for further discussion and input.

As we transition back to regular operations but maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please be advised that there will be limited public seating for County Commission meetings. Up to 15 members of the public will be accommodated on a first-come, first-seated basis in overflow seating adjacent to the Commission meeting room and up to two members of the public at a time will be permitted to line up to provide public comment. County Commission meetings can be viewed on Access TV, either via Cox Cable Channel 20 or online at www.salinatv.org. In addition, the public can still utilize the conference bridge by dialing (785) 621-0800, entering participant code 782956 followed by #. You must dial *9 to alert the moderator that you wish to provide public comment. Although Commissioners will be able to hear your comments, you may have difficulty hearing the Commission business through the telephone bridge.

Phase 2: Began May 22, 2020

Gatherings: no more than 15 individuals in a mass gathering where 6-foot distance cannot be maintained between the individuals.

Individuals:

  • Masks are strongly encouraged in public settings
  • Maintain 6-foot social distance in both indoor and outdoor settings
  • High-risk individuals (those with underlying medical conditions) should continue to stay home except for essential needs

Employers:

  • Telework is encouraged when possible
  • Employees exhibiting illness should be required to stay home and encouraged to seek medical care as necessary
  • Avoid gatherings greater than 15 where social distancing protocols cannot be maintained and continue to maintain 6 feet of distance between workstations as employees are phased in

Travel:

  • Minimize or avoid travel if it isn’t for medical, family, or business-related needs
  • KDHE travel-related quarantine mandates are still in effect for high-risk areas

Educational Facilities:

  • K-12 facilities should continue to follow the guidelines of the Continuous Learning Plan developed by the Kansas State Department of Education
  • Higher education facilities should remain closed for in-person learning or events involving groups of more than 15 individuals
  • Childcare facilities can continue operations according to state and local regulations

Activities and Venues:

The following activities and venues listed should not open during this phase:

  • Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more
  • Fairs, festivals, carnivals, and parades where people gather outside their vehicles
  • Summer camps that are not part of a licensed childcare facility
  • Swimming pools that are not backyard pools or pools used for physical therapy and first responder training
  • Senior Centers
  • Long-term and healthcare facilities should follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and any other relevant licensing entities

Activities and venues not mentioned above can safely reopen if they:

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between all individuals and groups that do not live together in the same residence
  • Follow cleaning and public health practices and comply with any additional sector-specific guidance
  • Avoid groups larger than 15 where distance cannot be maintained (greater than 15 individuals can occupy a facility if capacity allows for individuals to maintain social distance of 6 feet)

Guidelines for activities and venues such as contact and non-contact sports, outdoor sports courts, playgrounds, splash pads, museums, farmers markets, community gardens, outdoor restrooms, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and golf, can be found on the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) website. Businesses, activities, and venues shall follow the mandates from their licensor

Phase 3: Begins no earlier than June 5th, 2020

Gatherings:

  • No more than 50 individuals in a mass gathering where 6-foot social distance cannot be maintained between the individuals

Individuals:

  • Masks are strongly encouraged in settings where 6-foot distance cannot be maintained
  • Adhere to personal hygiene guidelines and remain home if ill
  • High-risk individuals with underlying medical conditions may resume public interactions but should practice social distancing and minimize exposure to situations where precautionary measures may be difficult

Employers:

  • May begin reducing telework and start bringing employees back to work in office settings
  • Employees exhibiting illness should be required to stay home and encouraged to seek medical care as necessary
  • Avoid gatherings greater than 50 where social distancing protocols cannot be maintained and continue to maintain 6 feet of distance between workstations as employees return

Travel:

  • Non-essential travel may resume
  • KDHE travel-related quarantine mandates are still in effect for high-risk areas

Educational Facilities:

  • K-12 facilities should continue to follow the guidelines of the Continuous Learning Plan developed by the Kansas State Department of Education
  • Higher education facilities should remain closed for in-person learning or events involving groups of more than 50 individuals
  • Childcare facilities can continue operations according to state and local regulations

Activities and Venues:

All activities and venues can safely reopen if they:

  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between all individuals and groups that do not live together in the same residence
  • Follow cleaning and public health practices and comply with any additional sector-specific guidance
  • Avoid groups larger than 50 where distance cannot be maintained (greater than 50 individuals can occupy a facility if capacity allows for individuals to maintain social distance of 6 feet)
  • Long-term and healthcare facilities should follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and any other relevant licensing entities
  • Guidelines for activities and venues such as contact and non-contact sports, outdoor sports courts, playgrounds, splash pads, museums, farmers markets, community gardens, outdoor restrooms, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and golf, can be found on the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) website
  • Businesses, activities, and venues shall follow the mandates from their licensor

Phase Out: Begins no earlier than June 19th, 2020

  • Gatherings: maintain social distance where applicable
  • Individuals: adhere to personal hygiene guidelines and remain home if ill
  • Employers: follow any sector-specific guidelines that may be released
  • Travel: unrestricted
  • Educational Facilities: unrestricted unless sector-specific guidelines are released
  • Activities and Venues: unrestricted
  • Long-term and healthcare facilities should follow the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and any other relevant licensing entities
  • Guidelines for activities and venues such as contact and non-contact sports, outdoor sports courts, playgrounds, splash pads, museums, farmers markets, community gardens, outdoor restrooms, fitness centers, meeting rooms, and golf, can be found on the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) website
  • Businesses, activities, and venues shall follow the mandates from their licensor

Progression to the next phase will be measured by monitoring our testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace, and availability of personal protective equipment.

Here is what you can do to help reach reopening milestones:

  • Continue to follow the county restrictions in place
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Wear masks in public settings
  • Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings
  • Wash your hands frequently

Copyright © Rocking M Media, 2020. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Rocking M Media’s express consent.

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