As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its third calendar year, the case count in Lyon County is once again on the rise and public health officials will look to adjust their response accordingly.

Renee Hively and Dr. Ladun Oyenuga of Lyon County Public Health addressed the county commission Wednesday morning and explained that COVID-19 continues to be a concern in the area.

“We’re still very much deep in COVID-land,” Oyenuga said. “Testing has increased, our positivity rate is pretty significant. … Hospitalizations are at an all-time high also. Presently, we have 10 active hospitalizations. We’ve been running anywhere between, I’ll say, nine and 13 over the past month at the hospital.”

Hively said that public health is predicting a mid-January peak in case counts that will taper down by the end of March, so “we’re preparing for the next 90 days at least and see what happens after that.”

As a part of that preparation, Hively reported that LCPH will transfer active cases and contact tracing investigations to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment in order to free up its staff to assist with the increased demand for testing.

“We’re going to kind of cross-train some of those (staff),” she said. “We’re actually meeting with those staff right now as we speak to see how they feel about moving into that, if we could have some people cross-trained in the backside, running some laboratory testing and we can push more tests out that way. And then also doing the data entry piece because we have to enter all that information into the lab exchange with the state. Also, just because we’re moving those cases up to KDHE does not mean that our phone lines won’t be going off the wall.”

Commission Chairman Rollie Martin asked Oyenuga and Hively to report back what their final decision is about how to use county employees because “we’ve got some things we’re concerned about a little bit.”

Hively added that once responsibility for active cases and contact tracing transitions to KDHE, Lyon County will be beholden to the state’s guidelines regarding isolation and quarantine.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines shortening isolation for asymptomatic individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and close contacts to five days.

KDHE announced on Friday afternoon that it had updated its guidelines to be in alignment with the CDC.

Oyenuga said that she had some concerns about the new CDC guidelines because they seem to make quarantining “almost optional.”

Hively said that it is “a bad thing” for the county to fall under KDHE guidelines “because there honestly needs to be some consistency. Through this whole pandemic, there’s not been a lot of consistency.”

However, she also had some concerns about the new CDC guidelines.

“We know 14 days is the best standard if we’re going to control any type of infectious disease, but we continue to make decisions based on economics, which I understand — workforce and different things like that,” she said. “It really makes it hard locally to have a lot of consistency when you have your federal, state and local levels all doing something completely different. And right now, where we’re at in this stage of the pandemic, if we fail to adopt what KDHE adopts and we do something different or do something more stringent, then we’re going to get backlash or people aren’t going to follow it anyway.”

Hively also reported that on Wednesday LCPH had enrolled in a federal testing program that will allow it to give free at-home test kits, although its first order would not be made until Jan. 4 and she wasn’t certain how long the shipping process would take.

“We’re still waiting to see what those final guidelines are, how we can distribute those, who we can and can’t, those kinds of things,” she said.

In other business, the commission agreed to add its name to a draft copy of the 2022 Lyon County Joint Legislative Statement alongside a total of 14 local entities.

(17) comments


Over 850,000 abortions were performed in the year 2000 so that means at least 85,000 babies were terminated after 12 weeks.😔 You can call it whatever you want but it’s still human life.


Wow, you really are too ignorant to argue with pardon my French but I have read many times you making fun of people by calling them names. Where do you think that beating heart is? So sad I didn’t realize what kind of person I was dealing with until now. Good day sir.


The heart is one of the first organs developed, and is developed before your bones, brain, skin, and lungs. This is what I mean when I say a beating heart is not a baby. A baby is a person who could live outside the womb.

Also when I say I'm pro-choice, I don't mean I'm in favor of cutting out a child that could have lived outside the womb... I'm talking about women who wish to end their pregnancy as soon as they realize they are pregnant, when the embryo is smaller than a couple inches. 90% of abortions are done before the 12th week when there is zero chance of survival outside the womb... and I'm also sure even I would find some of the other 10% of abortions questionable.

I forget you conservatives believe people are cutting out babies in the final days of a pregnancy...


So a beating heart in a mothers womb is considered nothing to you. So sad you care so little for a defenseless baby.


A beating heart is not a baby... it's an organ. And it also doesn't matter what I consider it, because I'm not pregnant and I don't get to make health decisions for anyone but myself... If I was a pregnant woman, then I would have the right to choose what I do with my body, but I'm not, so I don't.

You're entitled to your opinions, but your opinion tells me you don't actually support medical freedom or women's rights... Which is fine, that's your opinion. Are there any other women's health decisions do you feel you have the right to make decisions on? Maybe force them to wear burquas and cook you dinner too?


Aim High If you don’t see the difference between women choosing to terminate a pregnancy that ends a life to just choosing to have a vaccine or not then there’s no point in arguing with you. The termination of life of a baby is just wrong. And I feel sorry for you if you don’t see that.


People choosing to not get vaccinated has also led to the deaths of many innocent people, just like abortion has. While I appreciate your support of medical freedom, I find it sad your support disappears the instant your feelings are hurt.

My sincerely held religious belief says life begins when god "breathes into your nostrils the breath of life"... it is at that moment a man becomes a living soul. Nobody "likes" abortion and the death of an unborn child, but nobody likes dying after catching covid from some unvaccinated facebook researcher refusing to wear a mask, either.

I would have to say Elrod does not actually believe in medical freedom, or freedom of choice, and does not respect the rights of women. Very sad!


Whether you like it or not it is every healthcare workers duty to try to save everybody’s life and whatever means necessary nobody gets to choose who lives or dies and that’s what I feel like some of you are trying to say. Attorneys don’t always like defending people who are guilty but they are supposed to do that to the best of their ability. I am for people getting the vaccine I urge everybody to and get the boosters, but I’m also for everybody’s rights to make that choice not to be forced into it by threatening to lose your job or any other means. Those of you who are criticizing and making fun of people who make that choice to not get vaccinated or just downright wrong and should be ashamed of themselves for being that way.


I see you're on your high horse lecturing us on a persons right to make their own health care decisions, so I'm sure you would support a womans right to make her own health care decisions who is seeking an abortion in Texas... right?

Or do you only support the right for people to make their own health care decisions until you don't like their choice? Maybe you should be ashamed of yourself for being that way....


It is time for early tx. Drs. hands should not be tied to prevent prescribing prophylactic or early tx. Hospital protocols must be changed. We have nothing and can do nothing come back when you can't breathe, needs to stop. Those who want the vaccine to protect them fine they have been able to get that. Those who don't want the vaccine should be able to equally acquire early tx or prophylactic tx that has been proven effective. I am not talking FDA proven, I am talking about proven by Drs. who have first hand treated patients successfully early to keep them out of the hospitals and prevent deaths. I urge public health and hospital and Drs. to have this conversation. Blindly following NIH CDC FDA protocol needs to stop. Bring back health freedoms for all Drs and patients.


We already have prophylactic measures for covid... vaccines, masks, and handwashing... which are much more effective than ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, or whatever mystery medicine you're intentionally being vague about. Doctors are already free to prescribe fda approved medications... what you're asking to bring back is quackery.

The difference in death rates between vaccinated and unvaccinated is glaringly obvious... we have a safe vaccine, and you should really get one... and if you choose not to, then fine. But I don't think we should be doing any favors for people who catch a virus there's been a free vaccine to protect against... if you want to gamble, don't blame the house when you lose.

"equally acquire early tx or prophylactic tx that has been proven effective. I am not talking FDA proven" lol... ok..


You certainly are entitled to your choice of tx for prevention for covid. Just as others who want should be able to get early or prophylactic treatment for covid. You are correct Drs can prescribe FDA approved medications. However, today many pharmacies are refusing to fill it. Other Drs are told they cannot prescribe these medications or they are at risk to lose their jobs. I do not mean to be vague, the FLCCC protocol is what I am about for prevention, early and hospital treatment it has been used by many Drs. and successfully kept patients including myself and others I know out of the hospital. Again, I am encouraging health freedoms for everyone. A one size fits all approach to medicine is a very slippery slope and that is what is happening in healthcare, with covid protocol. I would say the same if you want to gamble with the vaccine that is your right, just as should be mine if I would like ivermectin and hydroxy, those are the very drugs that I took that kept me out of the hospital with my severe case of covid.....I don't consider that quackery.


Caveat patiente, eh, 75? Just out of curiosity (and I am certain I'm going to regret this), but what do you consider quackery?


One time I had a sore throat, and decided to drink Dr. Pepper and eat life savers... the next morning my sore throat was gone! This is proof Dr. Pepper and life savers cures a sore throat. Even kept me out of the hospital!! Definitely not quackery!


Thank you for your perspective, Dr. John R. Brinkley.


Here comes 2022, to show us exactly what we failed to learn in 2020 and 2021. We could be mostly on the other side of this pandemic had we paid attention to what was happening in the earlier spike. Or the one before that. Or the one before that.... Or what happened with the Spanish flu.


Careful Rationa1, don't be steppin' on muh' rights.

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