Kansas SB40 was signed into law about two weeks ago, and it will greatly change how public health is governed in Kansas for the immediate future. In what appears to be a strictly political move towards a Democratic Governor, Senate Republicans managed to pass a law that usurps her authority to direct and lead recommendations for Public Health determinations throughout Kansas. As a result Counties in most of Kansas were forced to rescind health related orders pertaining to protecting citizens from pandemic spread. To avoid being saddled with significant legal burdens, Morris County Commissioners hence followed suit and lifted the mask wearing order, as well as the limitation of mass gatherings order, effective 4-1-2021. So you have probably been in businesses and/or schools since then and found both employees and patrons/students NOT wearing masks. This change does not reflect the recommendations of our local Public Health officials, despite the decline in positive COVID cases being seen in our region. We encourage businesses to preserve the request of mask wearing within their buildings, at least until we get through the possible resurgence of positive activity following the multiple recent spring breaks and Easter gatherings. Too many other States and foreign countries are still experiencing 3rd or 4th waves of COVID upticks, to think that we are out of the woods yet!
As we speak of this long-lasting topic, I’d like to acknowledge our Public Health staff who covers Morris and Chase County’s public health needs. This week is National Public Health Week, and our team has truly been exemplary in its efforts to keep us all informed and protected! We each owe them a big thank you for their ongoing efforts. Their focus lately has been in administering COVID vaccinations, and over 3,000 inoculations have been administered to Morris County residents. So more than 60% of Morris County residents over 65 years of age have had at least one shot! Our Health department has really done a great job getting our population vaccinated! And let me assure anyone who still wants the vaccine: we now have ample supplies for “no charge administration” of the vaccine at both the next door Clinic and at the Health Department!! All you have to do is call either place for a relatively quick appointment!
Our new radiology room is almost at a training stage – equipment has been installed and is being calibrated today and tomorrow. So all of our imaging equipment can now be considered: truly having state-of-the-art technology, less, perhaps, the Mammography machine, which does not have 3D capability. So, only one more enhancement is left in that entire department.
Even though things are improving on the COVID front, we feel that ongoing mask wearing, social distancing, and limiting access points into our hospital are responsible features worthy of continuance. The variant versions of COVID still remain a concern, so we need to continue with these practices. Thanks for your understanding and support.