New Case of Coronavirus Disease Credited to Rice County

The Rice County Health Department is announcing a new case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) attributed to Rice County. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment notified the Health Department of the case.

The new case involves a man in his early twenties who has not been hospitalized. He is an employee of the prison, and likely contracted the virus due to widespread COVID-19 cases among staff and inmates there. The case belongs to Rice County because the young man’s permanent address is here. No further information about the patient will be released.

Rice County Health Department Administrator and Health Officer Marci Detmer wants to inform the communities in Rice County that they are not in increased danger from Covid-19 due to this case. The individual has not visited Rice County in more than a month.

Rice County Health Department staff would like to clarify to all Rice County residents that are among the first to be notified when a new case is diagnosed. We contact the individual and immediately begin patient teaching on steps they need to take to keep their contacts safe. In addition, we do thorough contact tracing to notify susceptible individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 through the diagnosed individual. We teach how to monitor their own health and protect those around them. If you are not contacted by the Health Department, then you are not considered a vulnerable contact. Disease investigation of contagious, reportable diseases is something that we are trained to do on an ongoing basis. We have investigated for many years and are well-prepared for this current event.

Rice County Health Department wants the public to know that the Health Department will not disclose any patient information—including information about any patient’s location—except by explicit request of the patient. The best way for you to receive correct information is to check the Rice County website (ricecounty.us), the Health Department Facebook page, or to wait for the publication of a Press Release on multiple forums.

In addition:

• Avoid non-essential trips and stay home to the extent you can.
• Family members living in separate households should not gather.
• If you must go out in public, ensure you maintain a distance of six feet from other people; wear a mask.

Rice County residents can stay informed by visiting: ricecounty.us, www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus or http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. For general information, contact the KDHE phone bank at
1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) or email COVID-19@ks.gov. You may also contact the
RICE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT at 620-257-2171 or 620-680-0321.