Announcements: COVID-19

Norton County Hospital shares important news about the novel coronavirus

(COVID-19)

Below is a listing of related news about COVID-19 to assist our patients and their families. The latest news will be listed at the top of the page. Information is fluid and is subject to change at any time.

We recommend following these websites for reputable information as well:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE)

Norton County Health Department update

May 27, 2020

Below is the statement from the health department regarding reopening the county.

Health Department statement

Norton County Health Department update

May 26, 2020

In light of Governor Kelly's recent announcement (leaving opening decisions to the counties), Norton County will stay in Phase 2 at this time. Norton County/City officials will be meeting in the next day to figure out the plan forward from here for Norton County. We will let you know as soon as possible what the plans will be for our county. From the health department's Facebook page

Governor Laura Kelly announced a series of actions her administration is taking to respond to COVID-19

May 26, 2020

In summary:

  1. Kelly vetoed House Bill 2054.
  2. Kelly signed a new state disaster declaration to ensure that Kansas can effectively respond to the current emergency situation, which includes an unprecedented economic emergency and the imminent threat of new outbreaks of COVID-19, specifically regarding food supply. This will also ensure the state can continue its coordinated response with federal and state partners.
  3. Kelly called a special session starting June 3.

Read more online.

Norton County lifts Hall County, NE travel quarantine requirements

May 21, 2020

Norton County lifts Hall County, NE travel quarantine requirements

Governor Kelly Announces Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce to Lead State’s Economic Recovery

May 19, 2020

As part of her commitment to rebuilding Kansas and the economy, Governor Laura Kelly today announced the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce to lead the state’s economic recovery. The taskforce is charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19.

Read more online.

Reopening Kansas: Governor Kelly moves Kansas into modified Phase 2

May 19, 2020

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will sign Executive Order 20-34, which moves Kansas into Phase 2 of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.” Phase 2, effective Friday, May 22, 2020, will be modified to include data-driven restrictions necessary to prevent community transmission of COVID-19. For specifics, visit the governor's website.

Governor Kelly announces executive order extending relief to motor carriers during COVID-19 pandemic

May 15, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly issued a new executive order as part of her administration’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order #20-33 will extend temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations until rescinded, on June 15, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires, whichever is earlier. It is an extension of measures put in place by Executive Order #20-22.

Read more online.

Governor Kelly signs new Executive Order for shared work as part of ongoing COVID-19 response effort

May 15, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order #20-32 as part of her administration's comprehensive, ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The order provides temporary relief from certain restrictions concerning shared work programs.

Shared Work is an alternative for employers faced with a reduction in workforce and allows an employer to divide the available work or hours of work among a specified group of affected employees in lieu of a layoff. Shared Work allows the employees to receive a portion of their unemployment insurance benefits while working reduced hours for their employers.

Executive Order #20-32 expands flexibility for Kansas employers, so they can take advantage of the existing federal programs.

Read more online.

CDC releases new guidance on how states can safely reopen

May 14, 2020

Link to the CDC guidance

Governor Kelly adds new phase to “Ad Astra” plan

May 14, 2020

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-31, which establishes a new phase to the “Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The new “1.5” Phase, effective May 18, 2020, continues reopening efforts while preserving some data-driven restrictions necessary to prevent community transmission of COVID-19. Read more.

Norton County Hospital to open up more services, facilities

May 14, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many businesses can operate. Like other businesses throughout Kansas, Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic have been working on procedures to gradually re-open more services and facilities following guidelines from federal and state government officials. Since April 10, no visitors have been allowed in the hospital and clinic facilities; staff and patients seeking medical attention have been the only ones in most circumstances allowed in, as a safety measure to protect against potential spread of COVID-19. Starting Friday, May 15, restrictions will be lessened to include... Read more.

Updated travel quarantine list from KDHE

May 12, 2020

Colorado and Louisiana were removed from the list. Maryland was added. For a full report, download this PDF.

Updated travel quarantine list for Norton County

May 11, 2020

From the Norton County Health Dept.: As of 5-12-2020, travel restrictions to 3 of the 4 Nebraska counties will be lifted. Starting 5-12-2020, you can travel to Buffalo, Dawson and Adams counties in Nebraska without having to be quarantined upon return to Norton County.

Note: LEAVING HALL COUNTY NEBRASKA (which includes GRAND ISLAND) on the list for mandated quarantine if you travel there for anything other than medical or work. The KDHE travel quarantine list also remains in effect. Please continue good hand washing or use of hand sanitizer and social distancing.

Updated Quarantine List

Second positive case in Norton County resident

May 2, 2020

A second positive case of COVID-19 announced in Norton County today. This one is a resident living in the county. Please, please stay home if you can, practice social distancing and wash your hands.

Read more in a recent news release.

Plans to re-open Kansas

April 30, 2020

In a televised address, Governor Laura Kelly today presented her detailed framework for gradually, safely re-opening the Kansas economy and getting Kansas back to work. Kelly’s framework, “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” comes five weeks after a statewide stay-home order became necessary to aggressively mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Read more online.

First case of COVID-19 in a Norton County resident

April 30, 2020

From the Norton County Health Dept.: Norton County Health Department is announcing the first case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a Norton County resident.

The case involves a Norton County resident who was exposed to coronavirus outside of Norton County and was tested in a different county. The resident has not returned back to Norton County at this time. There is no known exposure of coronavirus in Norton County at this time. Norton County Health Department is working to identify any close contacts of the individual and those who were exposed will be contacted as soon as possible. We will be monitoring these contacts for fever and respiratory symptoms. No further information about the patient will be released.

Read more in a recent news release.

Mental & Behavioral Health Resources

April 28, 2020

Links and numbers are available on our website.

Kansas launches COVID-19 Response & Recovery Website

April 27, 2020

The state launched a new website that has numerous resources related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Such resources include unemployment benefits, a job/hiring portal, data of cases in Kansas, etc. The state wanted to get a collection of resources together on one website. It may be accessed at: https://covid.ks.gov

Governor Kelly applauds federal coronavirus relief, conveys need for flexibility

April 24, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly today sent a letter to members of Kansas’ federal delegation to commend them for supporting the latest coronavirus emergency relief package, which provides economic support for small businesses, hospitals and COVID-19 testing capacity. The letter also conveys the urgent need for additional federal support in the form of direct, flexible state aid. Read more in a recent news release.

Updated Travel Restrictions - released by Norton County Health Dept. (additional Nebraska county)

April 24, 2020

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Glenda Maurer, Norton County Health Officer, is now mandating a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for Norton County citizens who have traveled to certain areas, including:

A new additional Nebraska county - Dawson County (which includes Lexington) - if you have traveled on or after April 24, 2020.

Health Dept. Announcement

COVID-19 Fraud Schemes

April 23, 2020

Just released from the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment: Rumors and scams can easily circulate in times of crisis. Fraud schemes are already impacting members of Medicare and Medicaid across the United States. Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 related-fraud schemes in these examples from around the world in this news release.

Governor signs two Executive Orders as part of her administration’s ongoing COVID-19 response

April 22, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly today signed two new Executive Orders to help the state’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order #20-26 temporarily waives physician supervision or collaboration requirements for certain medical licensees, including advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and licensed practical nurses.

The order permits registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, who hold a license that is exempt, inactive or has lapsed within the past five years to provide medical services appropriate to their qualifications.

The order also allows out-of-state health care providers to practice in Kansas, if necessary, without a Kansas license, but only if they are in good standing in their home state.

Through the order, health care providers assisting the state in its response as coordinated by the Kansas Division of Emergency Management will be covered by the liability protections of the Kansas Emergency Management Act.

Executive Order #20-27 allows the sale of alcoholic beverages for carryout consumption and permits the sale of liquor in a container that is not the original container for any establishment holding a class A club license, class B club license or drinking establishment license.

Learn more in a recent news release.

Kansas receives additional PPE supplies, expands COVID-19 testing in Kansas

April 20, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly announced Kansas has received additional supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) to expand COVID-19 testing in Finney, Ford, Lyon and Seward counties.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test and contain recent clusters of positive coronavirus cases in Kansas counties centered around food and meat processing plants.

Read more in a recent news release.

Updated Travel Restrictions - released by Norton County Health Dept.

April 17, 2020

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Dr. Glenda Maurer, Norton County Health Officer, is now mandating a 14-day mandatory self-quarantine for Norton County Citizens who have:

Traveled to the following Nebraska counties on or after April 17th, 2020: Buffalo County (which includes Kearney), Hall County (which includes Grand Island) and Adams County (which includes Hastings).

Anyone traveling to these areas for essential work or medical appointments are considered exempt.

Health Dept. Announcement

Governor Kelly signs new Executive Order as part of her administration’s ongoing COVID-19 response

April 16, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order #20-23 as part of her administration’s ongoing, comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order brings Kansas adult-care homes in line with other occupational licensing exemptions the Governor has issued in recent days. All state agencies working or collaborating with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services shall extend renewal deadlines for any occupational or professional license, certificate or registrations as needed.

Additionally, the order temporarily suspends non-essential fire inspections for new or renewal of KDADS-licensed facilities during the State of Disaster Emergency. The suspension will remain valid until 90 days after the State of Disaster Emergency is terminated, and all fees are suspended until that time.

Read more in a recent news release.

Governor extends stay-at-home order to May 3rd

April 15, 2020

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced she is extending the state stay-at-home order until midnight, May 3. The current stay-at-home order was set to end Sunday, April 19.

Governor Kelly announces executive order extending relief to motor carriers during COVID-19 pandemic

April 13, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly issued a new executive order as part of her administration’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order #20-22 will extend temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations. It is an extension of motor carrier rules and regulations put in place by Executive Order #20-09.

Read more in a recent news release.

Governor Kelly issues Executive Orders to aid Kansans during COVID-19 pandemic

April 10, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly issued two new executive orders as part of her administration’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the obstacles created by social distancing for Kansans whose work requires the renewal of a license, certificate, permit or registration, Executive Order #20-19 extends professional and occupational licenses for the remainder of the pandemic. Under the order, all state agencies shall extend renewal deadlines for any occupational or professional license that has expired – or will expire – during this disaster. Licenses will remain valid as long as the disaster declaration is in effect, and for 90 days after it expires. The measure also waives any late penalties or expiration fees, and it extends deadlines for continuing education requirements.

The governor also issued Executive Order #20-20, which will temporarily allow notaries and witnesses to do their jobs remotely, through audio-video communication technology.

Read more online.

Norton County Hospital enhances visitor restrictions effective April 10th

April 10, 2020

In response to the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state of Kansas, Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic have enhanced visitor restrictions effective April 10, 2020. Details include:

Governor Kelly announces revised mass gatherings guidance to include religious services

April 7, 2020

As part of ongoing efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governor Laura Kelly rescinded Executive Order #20-14 and replaced it with Executive Order #20-18, which primarily brings our religious institutions and religious and non-religious funerals in line with the previous order that limited public gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

Although religious institutions and funerals previously were exempt from this 10-person limit, they now will need to comply with this rule, effective at 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, April 8.

Read more in a recent news release.

Be Prepared. Not Scared.

April 7, 2020

From Dr. Timothy Lawton, a physician who regularly works at Norton County Hospital as a locum provider covering the emergency room and inpatient care.

As a board-certified family physician and hospital medical director with over 25 years experience in emergency, hospital and nutritional medicine, I want to encourage you to do everything you can to stay as healthy as possible during this devastating epidemic. I have created this list of specific recommendations to help you keep your body strong and build up your defenses against COVID-19.

Read more in Dr. Lawton's memo.

NCH remote workers

April 7, 2020

To help reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 while continuing necessary operations, some NCH office positions will be working remotely starting this week.

The remote staff will continue to be able to provide many of the same functions (check email and voicemails, send faxes, etc.) from their remote offices as they would within the hospital.

If you experience any problems connecting with our staff, please call the hospital's main line at 785-877-3351 for assistance. Thank you for your patience. We are working with you to keep our community healthy!

KDHE adds state to travel quarantine list: Connecticut

April 7, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added one state to the quarantine list: Connecticut. This is effective for persons returning April 6 and moving forward.

Read the latest comprehensive list of quarantine areas.

Use of cloth face coverings to help slow the spread of COVID-19

April 6, 2020

CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.

CDC also advises the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.

Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

The cloth face coverings recommended are not surgical masks or N-95 respirators. Those are critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for health care workers and other medical first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.

Learn more on the CDC website.

Governor Kelly announces partial resumption of State of Kansas operations

April 3, 2020

Following the two-week suspension of state government operations on March 23, state government operations and the delivery of various services will begin to resume on Monday, April 6, in a reduced fashion. Governor Kelly made it clear that to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to state employees, all employees who are able will begin working remotely. Close to 70% of eligible state workers will be working remotely to continue serving the citizens of Kansas.

The Governor also announced that public access to state office buildings will remain closed until April 19, 2020. This restriction matches the stay-home order that Governor Kelly signed on March 28.

Read more in a recent news release.

KDHE helpful graphics

April 3, 2020

KDHE has graphics available to show by county how many COVID-19 tests have been done and how many positive cases there are per county. Scroll to the map in blue, and click by county to learn more....and be sure to check out the other graphics available as well!

Click to view the graphics.

COVID-19 self-checker on CDC website

April 1, 2020

CDC offers a Coronavirus Self-Checker that can help you decide when to call your health care provider if you are feeling sick.

Norton County Hospital continues efforts to mitigate COVID-19 risk

April 1, 2020

What are Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic currently doing to minimize risk of COVID-19 exposure? Find out in a recent news release issued April 1, 2020.

Governor Kelly issues Executive Order to help meet surging demand for unemployment benefits for workers affected by COVID-19

March 31, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-17 to ensure Kansas can draw down millions in federal dollars under the federal CARES Act.

The federal stimulus will expand unemployment insurance to include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months.

Read more in a recent news release.

Latest FAQs from the KDHE

March 31, 2020

Check out the latest document covering frequently asked questions about COVID-19 from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Governor Kelly issues temporary, statewide Stay Home order

March 28, 2020

As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of novel coronavirus in Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order 20-16, making Kansas the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order. It will exist in conjunction with the Kansas Essential Function Framework for COVID-19 response efforts and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30. The measure will be in place at least until Sunday, April 19.

Read more about the order.

KDHE adds states (Colorado and Louisiana) to travel quarantine list

March 27, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added two new states to the quarantine list: Louisiana and Colorado. Previously, just certain counties in Colorado were included. This is effective for persons returning March 27 and moving forward. A comprehensive list of those Kansans needing to quarantine for 14 days is located online.

Isolation and Quarantine: FAQs

March 26, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) offers this document to assist with many frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19. Questions addressed (and visualized) include:

This helpful document has the answers.

COVID-19 cases in NE and KS

March 26, 2020

You can follow where the COVID-19 cases are currently located in Kansas and Nebraska online. The cases are typically updated daily. Click the links below for more information, and bookmark them to check back frequently.

Kansas WIC Program Now Available Without Physical Presence

March 25, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas WIC program will continue to operate. WIC is the nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and children from birth to age five, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

All current Kansas WIC participants will continue to receive benefits, and new applicants will be assessed, certified and issued benefits. Using telephone, computer and other technology, local clinic staff will be able to assess and certify applicants for eligibility and issue food benefits remotely to those determined eligible.

Typically, WIC participants and applicants of the program must be physically present to receive services. The USDA physical presence waiver is effective Monday, March 23 and expires May 31, 2020, or until extended. The waiver applies to areas impacted by WIC clinic closures and stay at home orders as well as to persons who are under quarantine, whether voluntary or involuntary.

Read more online.

Gov. Laura Kelly signs state budget, approves $65 million for Kansas coronavirus response

March 25, 2020

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has signed Senate Bill 66, the state’s budget bill for Fiscal Years 2020 and 2021. Read more details in a recent news release.

Donation BoxNCH accepts local donations to help enhance its supplies

March 25, 2020

Norton County Hospital is taking donations from community members to help with COVID-19 supplies. We have provided a dropbox outside our Outpatient/Specialty Clinic for these donations. If you have questions, please contact our hospital at 785-877-3351 and ask for Judy Wenzl, RN. The list of needed items is included below.

We may add or remove items from this list as the situation with COVID-19 unfolds. THANK YOU for your support!

Tips for social distancing, quarantine, and isolation during an infectious disease outbreak

March 25, 2020

This handout from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is helpful in understanding the differences among the terms: social distancing, quarantine and isolation. It also offers practical ways to help meet behavioral health needs in this uncertain time.

Ways to help - making surgical masks

March 25, 2020

Many people in the community have mentioned wanting to help us by making masks. We appreciate this gesture and could definitely use them! Here is a tutorial and pattern for the masks. If you have any questions, please contact us at 785-877-3351 and ask for Judy Wenzl, RN. We have a large donation box located outside our Outpatient Clinic. If you are out on an essential trip in town, feel free to drop these masks off in the box!

Masks video tutorial

Governor Kelly to issue Executive Order limiting mass gatherings to 10

March 24, 2020

Governor Kelly will issue an Executive Order today limiting mass gatherings to 10 persons. The decision was based on updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and modeling from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) that projected cases of COVID-19 in Kansas to sharply rise to a range of 300 to 900 by the end of the month.

The Executive Order also includes a framework counties will be required to use if local officials determine it is necessary to issue stay-at-home orders. The guidance will provide information on how to include these orders for essential infrastructure and businesses. With 89 Kansas counties without a confirmed case as of today, the Governor does not plan to issue a statewide stay-at-home order at this time.

Read more in a recent news release.

Governor Kelly announces four executive orders to aid Kansans during COVID-19 pandemic

March 23, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly signed today executive orders #20-10, #20-11, #20-12, and #20-13, as part of her administration’s comprehensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kelly rescinded Executive Order #20-06 and replaced it with Executive Order #20-10, which temporarily prohibits certain foreclosures and evictions. The EO explicitly requires that a financial hardship indirectly or directly caused by COVID-19 be the reason a homeowner or renter can’t make payments. In addition, no landlords can evict a residential tenant when all defaults or violations of the rental agreement are caused by financial hardships due to COVID-19. These measures are especially important because housing disruption inhibits the ability of the state and local communities to effectively respond to COVID-19 and the public health dangers it presents.

Kelly signed Executive Order #20-11, which prevents all Kansas waste removal providers, trash and recycling, from cancelling or suspending commercial or residential waste or recycling removal services for Kansas residences and businesses as a result of nonpayment due to significant loss of income or increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring that waste and recycling services continue is essential to maintaining public health, especially when personal hygiene and staying at home are the primary methods for slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Kelly signed Executive Order #20-12, extending deadlines for driver’s licenses and vehicle registration renewals and regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic. All driver’s license renewals and vehicle registrations extended by this Executive Order must be completed within 60 days of the expiration of Executive Order #20-12. Many Kansans may be unable to renew their driver’s license or vehicle registration during this time, but delivery drivers and other critical employees must be able to continue critical operations and drive without fear of licensing or registration issues.

Kelly signed Executive Order #20-13, extending tax filing deadlines to July 15, 2020, and waiving any interest and penalties for returns and payments made on or before July 15, 2020. In the event the State of Disaster Emergency originally proclaimed on March 12, 2020, is lifted or expires prior to July 15, 2020, the Department of Revenue shall continue to exercise appropriate discretion to make effective the waivers of penalties and interest for payments made up to July 15, 2020. This order is intended to bring Kansas’ tax filing procedures in line with federal IRS measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more specifics about these orders online.

KDHE updates the public on testing prioritization; issues new quarantine notices

March 23, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is issuing several updates today, including the addition of new states to the quarantine mandates as well as a prioritization for COVID-19 tests submitted to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories.

Two states were added to 14-day home quarantine, including New Jersey and Illinois.

Due to widescale shortages of laboratory supplies and reagents, testing for COVID-19 at the state lab is being prioritized for public health purposes and urgent need. KDHE will be prioritizing specimens for COVID-19 testing based upon those who meet Kansas’ patient under investigation (PUI) criteria starting March 23.

Read more in a recent KDHE news release.

Volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic

March 23, 2020

Interested in volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The Kansas System for the Early Registration of Volunteers, K-SERV, is a secure registration system and database for volunteers willing to respond to public health emergencies or other disasters in Kansas or other areas across the country. It can be utilized as a volunteer management system at the local and state levels, therefore avoiding duplication of information at each level. Everyone is welcome to register in K-SERV.

You can learn more and register online!

Governor Kelly announces executive orders to assist Kansans amid COVID-19 pandemic

March 22, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly announced Executive Order #20-08 and Executive Order #20-09 as part of her administration’s ongoing efforts to protect Kansans’ health and safety during the current COVID-19, or coronavirus, pandemic.

The order #20-08 temporarily expands capacity in the healthcare system. The order #20-09 provides conditional and temporary relief from certain motor carrier rules and regulations to allow for quick and efficient delivery of resources needed to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details are provided in a recent news release.

Guidance for Supporting Families in Accessing Healthy and Safe Child Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak

March 22, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is recommending continuity of operations for licensed child care facilities at this time (centers, preschools, day care homes and school age programs). Child care facilities may accept new enrollees in accordance with the terms of their license. However, depending on the unique and changing situations of each community, local public health officers may implement more restrictive guidance and provisions for child care facilities, up to and including closure within their authority and jurisdiction.

Child care providers should direct all questions to their local child care surveyor. Surveyors will coordinate efforts and communication with local public health officials to provide guidance based on the rapidly changing situation at the community level.

Read more in a recent news release.

Governor Laura Kelly announces disaster assistance for Kansas businesses and discusses banks, unemployment

March 20, 2020

Click for updates on what the Kelly Administration is doing to help mitigate the potential impact of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, on the Kansas economy.

Governor signs bipartisan bills to help Kansans during COVID-19 Pandemic

March 20, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly signed three bipartisan bills into law today in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 27 extends unemployment eligibility for workers who started to file unemployment insurance claims on or after January 1, 2020. These workers would be eligible for a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits, instead of the current effective maximum of 16 weeks.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 142 expands education waiver authority during disaster emergencies. Under current law, students are required by statute to attend at least 1,116 school hours per school year. This bill allows local school boards to receive waivers for this requirement under a state of disaster declaration, with the understanding that they will utilize continuous learning for their students during this time. Additionally, the bill codifies legislative intent that school districts continue to pay all hourly employees during a disaster shutdown.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 102 expands authority of the judicial branch in time of disaster, permitting the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to issue an order extending statutory deadlines or time limitations on court proceedings and authorizes video conferencing.

Read more in a release from the governor's office.

Norton County Hospital implements additional visitor restrictions effective March 20th

March 20, 2020

In response to the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state of Kansas and closures of schools and public places, Norton County Hospital and Norton Medical Clinic have updated visitor restrictions effective March 20, 2020. Details are included in a recent news release.

COVID-19 hotline resource

March 19, 2020

The University of Kansas Health System has launched a COVID-19 Hotline that is available seven days per week from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The hotline number is 877-261-7140 and is designated for anyone who has questions about the novel coronavirus. Patients are asked to call this number if they have COVID-19 questions. However, if they will be presenting at the Norton County Hospital facility (ER or clinic), they will still need to go through the hospital and clinic protocol and answer questions regarding symptoms and recent travel. If going to Norton County Hospital facilities with respiratory symptoms, please call in advance. The hospital number is 785-877-3351 and clinic number is 785-877-3305.

KDHE issues new mandates for quarantine and isolation of travelers, close contacts and those being tested

March 18, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is issuing new mandates today surrounding COVID-19, including travelers, close contacts of confirmed cases and those being tested. KDHE is now mandating 14-day home quarantine for some Kansans.

Read the full news release to learn more.

Norton County Hospital provides updates on COVID-19 response

March 18, 2020

Norton County Hospital is working diligently to care for patients while putting in appropriate measures to protect them against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Currently, the hospital is not allowing visitors to inpatients under age 12 and no visitation if you are experiencing cough, fever or respiratory illness symptoms. These measures are typically implemented during any given influenza season. Visiting restrictions are subject to change at any time.

The hospital is taking extra precautions for COVID-19 that includes extra screening measures being implemented at points of entry into hospital and clinic facilities. Staff, patients and visitors should expect additional screening indefinitely as the COVID-19 situation evolves. The hospital is currently doing extra screenings in lieu of locking down its facilities, but it will keep the public informed if and when process changes occur. Read more in a recent news release.

Governor Kelly announces Executive Order to temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures

March 18, 2020

Governor Kelly will temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures across the state in an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. Read more online.

Norton County EMS to ask additional questions

March 17, 2020

From Norton County EMS Facebook page: If you are calling 911 for an ambulance, expect dispatch to ask a few quick questions so that EMS can be prepared in case of a virus exposure. This is important for your care, our safety, and so the hospital can be alerted if they need to take special precautions.

The questions should include if the patient has a cough, fever, shortness of breath and if you've traveled to certain areas recently.

And rest assured we are here to care for you!

Governor Kelly announces proactive measures to mitigate spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas

March 17, 2020

Governor Laura Kelly announced two additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and better position Kansas to combat this unprecedented emergency in the months to come. First, in consultation with the Kansas State Department of Education, the Kansas Board of Education, the Kansas Association of School Boards, the Kansas School Superintendents Association, United School Administrators of Kansas and Kansas National Education Association, Kelly officially extended the closure of K-12 schools for the duration of the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, effective Monday, March 23, Kelly directed state employees to stay home on administrative leave to minimize additional risk of exposure to the virus for two weeks. The break will allow agencies to assess their essential functions to ensure that they can safely continue to serve the core needs of Kansans.

Read more online.

FAQs about COVID-19 from Harvard Health

March 17, 2020

What is COVID-19? What are the symptoms of COVID-19? What should I do if I feel sick? How long can the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 survive on surfaces?

These questions and more are answered on Harvard Medical School's website.

Governor Kelly outlines new Executive Orders to improve public safety regarding COVID-19 pandemic

March 17, 2020

Governor Kelly announced Executive Order #20-04 and Executive Order #20-05 to keep Kansans safe and healthy, ensuring all families are protected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance released on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Governor Kelly’s latest Executive Order follows the CDC’s recommendation to limit group gatherings to no more than 50 individuals in a single area.

In addition, Governor Kelly asked the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to suspend utility disconnects until April 15.

Read more about these executive orders online.

Moffet Drug Announcement

March 17, 2020

Moffet Drug is closing the lobby and will do curbside delivery of medications or delivery to home or through mail. This is effective immediately and no end date as of yet. There are more staff available to go out and greet customers curbside, but please call 785-877-2721 in before picking up to ensure your prescription is ready. Staff can still get customers their over-the-counter needs as well but will just be shopping for them. Payments may also be processed while you wait in your vehicle.

More event cancellations

March 17, 2020

In light of COVID-19 and taking necessary precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Norton County Hospital is officially cancelling the following events:

Thank you for your understanding and your help in spreading the word.

Mass gatherings guidance

March 16, 2020

New CDC recommendation: Starting immediately and for the next 8 weeks, CDC recommends cancelling all events of 50 or more people.

Ongoing guidance recommends that, in areas where there is even minimal COVID-19, events likely to include 10 or more people at high-risk for serious issues should be cancelled. People at higher risk include older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions such as lung and heart disease, as well as diabetes.

If there is substantial spread in your area, all gatherings should be cancelled.

Learn more on the CDC website.

How to spot coronavirus misinformation

March 16, 2020

Consult trusted sources such as the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention or World Health Organization. Read this article from TIME magazine to learn more.

KDHE issues new recommendations for quarantine and isolation of travelers, close contacts and those being tested

March 15, 2020

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is issuing new guidance today surrounding COVID-19, including travelers, close contacts of confirmed cases and those being tested.

Visit the KDHE website for more information.

Kansas school recommendations from Governor Kelly

March 15, 2020

Governor Kelly recommends the Kansas State Department of Education temporarily close schools to implement comprehensive education plan amidst COVID-19 pandemic. Read more online.

Traveling - Info from the CDC regarding COVID-19

March 15, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of COVID-19 have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease.

Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase your risk of exposure to COVID-19, if there are other travelers with COVID-19. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

More info: CDC website

Process changes as precaution for COVID-19

March 11, 2020

Norton County Hospital would like to inform the public about process changes as a precaution for coronavirus (COVID-19). The main thing to remember is help by calling in!

Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you have recently traveled from a travel alert area and experience fever, cough, or trouble breathing, please try to call ahead before coming to the clinic (785-877-3305) or Emergency department (785-877-3351). Patients calling in may be asked screening questions related to their symptoms and travel history. Questions will help employees identify next steps to provide safe care. Remember to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when hand washing cannot occur.

NCH is also implementing visitor restrictions as it would for any flu season. This means no hospital visitors under age 12 and no visitation if you are experiencing cough, fever or respiratory illness symptoms. If you are seeking medical attention for respiratory illness symptoms, please apply a mask upon entering the facility. Thank you for your cooperation!