Total cases in Kansas
(as of Oct. 23)
Total cases in Harvey County
(as of Oct. 23)
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(Updated Oct. 23, 2020)

Novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, is a respiratory disease. COVID-19 was first identified in an outbreak in Wuhan, China, but has spread to dozens of countries, including the United States.

As of Oct. 23, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has reported 76,230 COVID-19 cases in Kansas to date, including 3,584 hospitalizations and 975 deaths. The KDHE has recorded 616,262 COVID-19 tests.

The Harvey County Health Department has confirmed 514 total cases in the county. That includes 490 confirmed and 24 probable cases. The KDHE includes probable cases in its county case counts. There are 34 known active cases in Harvey County.

The Harvey County Commission revised and approved the Harvey County Health Reopening Plan on May 26. The local plan generally follows the guidance in Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's since-expired "Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas" executive order. Harvey County began the Phase Out recommendation of the plan as of June 17.

The Phase Out recommendation does not restrict mass gathering size. Social distancing and hygiene protocols are still encouraged.

The Harvey County Commission voted Oct. 19 to extend a local health order requiring face masks be worn county-wide in public spaces where 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained between individuals. The order is in effect until rescinded, superseded or amended.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 spreads easily from person to person. It most commonly spreads through close contact, when people are within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19, or through respiratory droplets produced through coughs, sneezes, singing, talking or breathing. COVID-19 can sometimes be transmitted through airborne transmission. It is less commonly spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.

There are several ways to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick. If you feel ill with COVID-19 symptoms, call your medical provider to discuss symptoms.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Kansas was announced March 7 in a Johnson County resident. On March 12, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the first COVID-19-related death in Kansas, a Wyandotte County resident. The first confirmed case in Harvey County was announced March 26.

Harvey County Commission Chair Randy Hague signed a local emergency declaration March 13. An emergency declaration helps the County with resource coordination. The Commission later extended that declaration March 31 for an additional 60 days, and again on May 26 and July 20.

Harvey County facilities reopened to the public as of May 4. Additional restrictions and precautions are in place to help protect the health of visitors and staff. Face masks are required to be worn in county government facilities.