PURPOSE AND INTRODUCTION
As we approach the final days of Kansas’s “Stay Home” order, this document has been prepared to offer guidance on a safe, stepwise reopening of Rice County. We must continue to take measures to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable residents and continue to ensure our healthcare resources are not overburdened. To do this, the Rice County Health Department, the County Health Officer, and the Rice County Health Department Medical Director have developed four “phases,” each representing a distinct level of guidance to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
We understand that restarting economic activity is one of our county’s priorities along with keeping our community safe. This is a critical time to be thoughtful and careful about reopening Rice County. We do not want to have to return to a “Stay at Home” order and believe that a safe, stepwise approach will allow Rice County to accomplish this goal.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES TO BE FOLLOWED THROUGH EACH PHASE
- State restrictions must permit the actions included in each phase.
- To move from one phase to the next, all the following criteria must be met:
- Local indicators must show decreasing or stable transmission or an increase consistent with the state’s epidemiological rate for at least 14 days before the beginning date of the next phase.
- Sufficient testing must be available.
- Sufficient Personal Protective Equipment must be available.
- Hospitals must have the capacity to treat an increased number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization.
- The public health system must be able to promptly identify and isolate infected individuals and identify and quarantine necessary contacts.
- When appropriate, staying home is recommended.
- Social distancing measures should continue to be followed:
- Stay 6 feet away from others.
- Interact only with people of the same household when possible.
- Limit non-essential travel.
- Masks should be worn in all public places.
- Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer frequently.
- Avoid touching your face, mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 include (but are not limited to) fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, chills, aches, fatigue, loss of smell or taste, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea.
- Businesses, organizations, or facilities may have stricter regulations than what are listed below but may not have less strict regulations.
- Vulnerable/High risk individuals and senior citizens should stay home as much as possible. They should stay in contact with their health care provider. They should not congregate with others who are not members of their immediate household.
- The reason for keeping a log of visitors or customers is to aid in contact tracing. Information must include date, name, phone number, and email address.