Announcements: COVID-19

Norton County Hospital shares important news about the novel coronavirus


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)

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!