Two Lyon County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, Lyon County Public Health officials announced Sunday evening.
The health department first began testing for COVID-19 on March 10.
According to a written release, the patients were informed and asked to stay in isolation until guidelines have been fulfilled to be released. An investigation is currently underway and known contacts to these cases will be notified by public health staff.
Lyon County Public Health Nurse Melissa Smith told The Emporia Gazette that the two individuals were connected and had recently traveled. She could not state where in the county the individuals live, but confirmed they were in isolation.
“Both of them have been isolated since testing on Friday,” Smith said, noting that the results of the tests came back Sunday afternoon.
Smith said the health department is currently calling those who had close contact with the two individuals. She said the department has a thorough investigation, involving finding out when the patients became symptomatic —or the point at which COVID-19 is considered to be the most transmittable — as well as where they might have been, who they came into contact with and more.
“We do a very thorough contact investigation,” she said. “We don’t want to cause a public panic, but we do want to keep in mind what the definition of a ‘close contact’ is, which is within 6-feet for more than 10 minutes. So, although you are at risk at grocery stores and gas stations for some contact of the disease, it’s probably not the most common place you are going to catch this.”
At this time, Lyon County Public Health recommends staying home and canceling non-essential travel to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“I think there’s so much that we don’t really know about this disease, and there’s cases in all of the counties around us,” Smith said. “We knew it was coming, we just still want to slow those rates down.”
Avoiding unnecessary travel as well as continuing to observe social distancing and good hand hygiene is also essential in preventing the spread of the virus.
“Working together, each one of us has an opportunity to minimize the spread of disease,” Lyon County Public Health Officer Renee Hively said in the release. “Everyone should continue using protective measures, which include social distancing — no closer than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, cover your mouth when you cough, avoid touching your face, mouth and eyes and stay home when you are sick.”
For more information on COVID-19, call KDHE at 866-534-3463 or the Lyon County Public Health Department at 620-208-3741.
Follow @LyonCountyPublicHealth on Facebook for updates or www.flinthillshealth.org/publichealth for more local information and resources.