The Impact of COVID-19 in Morris, Chase, and Wabaunsee Counties
Update for March 31, 2020 by Morris County Hospital
As we close out March, with one of the most focused topics ever to consume any one month’s dialogue: COVID-19 – it is clear that there is no reason to change or lose any traction on the good things we have been doing collectively as a Tri-County of Communities! First of all – data makes it clear that confirmed cases are very much ramping up in Kansas cities around us. The infamous curve is not going to flatten out for most of Kansas for some time yet. We have had good fate in not seeing new positive cases since our only two confirmed cases. But we’ve also been very diligent about closing businesses and practicing social distancing! These same practices MUST CONTINUE longer. Because…we simply cannot control inbound traffic from entering our County – unless we tell everyone we know that might want to visit us that they need to wait this out and visit later (and that is THE RIGHT PLAN!!)…but even that plan will not keep out the travelers just passing through. It goes without saying that closed businesses do not attract outsiders…and painful as that is to those business owners, it may be our only ticket to helping win this battle with minimal scathing.
Remember that this particular enemy only travels through our human cohorts. We simply must remain diligent for at least 2-3 more weeks in keeping only to our family households. Being rural is a particular blessing in these times…so we need to continue our current course to preserve that small advantage! Another bit of proven good advice is that wearing of masks does block some passing of particulates. Most paper or cloth masks are not fully protecting you from possible exposure, but they do reduce by as much as 50% the actual release of droplets that might expose others if you are an unknown carrier. They DO serve a good purpose!!
Lastly – I want to assure our Tri-County residents that all staff at Morris County Hospital have worked tremendously hard at tracking and understanding best practices as they evolve regarding COVID-19. We are also having regular dialogues with our tertiary partners who may have to assist us if were to have too many ICU required COVID patients. We all hope we will not come to that scenario, but some of the models certainly show that we might. I want to assure you we are here to serve you in whatever needed capacity emerges. Thank you and stay safe…and stay home. In closing today’s update I thought I would add the following condensed summary of some of the things that the CARES Act provides for healthcare providers. A lot of former rules for how we traditionally deliver healthcare have been relaxed to help us through this crisis. There
are a plethora of releases about this Act, as well as some earlier ones, and I think this summary was very well written. Kevin Leeper, CEO MCH