Lyon County Public Health Officer Renee Hively issued a stay-at-home order for all county residents during a Facebook live press conference Wednesday morning.

The order began at 12:01 a.m. today and will remain in effect through April 25, unless amended sooner, superseded or rescinded.

“A stay-at-home order was signed by me and the county commissioners yesterday,” Hively said. “What does this mean to you? It means currently all individuals living in Lyon County, Kansas, are ordered to stay-at-home or at their place of residence, unless they are going for reasons of essential activities.”

During this time, residents who work for essential businesses are permitted to go to and from work. Residents are also able to leave their homes to obtain groceries, medications or other necessary supplies for their homes or business. They are permitted to receive medical care and emergency services.

“We cannot stress enough that the safest place for you and your loved ones is at home,” Jennifer Millbern, environmental health director and public health services director at Flint Hills Community Health Center, said.

Residents are also able to participate in outdoor activities, such as walking, hiking, running and biking, so long as they are observing social distancing.

“You may go to public parks and outdoor open recreation areas, however, playgrounds increase the spread of COVID-19 disease and are therefore closed,” Millbern said.

Public gatherings such as weddings and funerals are prohibited at this time.

Millbern said people may also leave their homes to care for family members, friends or pets that live in another household.

“All businesses that remain open must comply with the social distancing requirements defined in the order,” she said. “All businesses are expected to maintain 6-foot social distancing at all times for both employees and customers. This includes when any customers are standing in line.”

Public health officials encourage businesses to offer separate operating hours for the elderly and vulnerable customers.

Places of public amusement are to be closed to the public for the duration of the order. Food may continue to be served for consumption off-premises by means of in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-thru or curb-side pickup.

Lyon County Emergency Manager Jarrod Fell said the order was necessary to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the community.

“Saying that there’s only two cases here — that’s just two documented positive cases,” Fell told The Emporia Gazette in a phone interview after the conference. “I think that, realistically, due to the criteria to be tested and the shortage of testing supplies, I think we can safely say there are more cases than that in our area. Knowing that and the history of the disease spread and what that looks like in other places, the intent of this is for people to practice social distancing, stay-at-home and limit unnecessary travel.”

Fell said he wanted to thank the community for efforts so far in mitigating the spread of the disease. He said the intent of the order is not to instill panic or fear, but the importance of reducing the impact on the community’s health care system overrides any short-term inconveniences the stay-at-home order may cause.

“If the disease spreads to a level in the community that it overwhelms our health care system, people will not be able to get health care,” he said. “That would mean people losing their lives. This disease has already taken a lot of people’s lives in the United States. We believe our community is really, truly engaging in social distancing, though there are those that are not. It is serious and the lives affected may be somebody you know. Your actions could be saving lives. We are concerned about the economic impacts on the community, but those economic impacts do not outweigh the value of a life.”

The order came on the same day Lyon County Public Health officials confirmed two more cases of COVID-19 in the county — the third and fourth, total.

Along from the two cases previously identified, there was one more confirmed COVID-19 case in Lyon County and another patient who is presumed positive, according to Lyon County Public Health.

Wednesday’s announcement doubles the amount of cases in the county. The first two confirmed cases were announced by Lyon County Public Health on Sunday evening. As of Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had announced 126 cases statewide — though the two new cases in Lyon County were not counted in that total.

The jump from 98 confirmed on Tuesday to 126 on Wednesday represents by far the largest single-day jump in the state. Of those cases, three resulted in deaths. Single deaths had previously been reported in Johnson and Wyandotte counties before Douglas County announced a third for the state on Wednesday morning.

Those who are known to have been in contact with those who have tested positive for the virus will be notified by Lyon County Public Health officials.

For more information on local response to COVID-19 visit

(12) comments


Correcting my last post as there were 80,000 deaths in the USA reported for the 2017-2018 flu season, and to prevent those deaths does anyone remember stay-at-home orders and businesses being closed? Were those lives less important to us as a country?


We have been building our immune systems to fight the flu for decades, but nobody has immunity to COVID-19. Flu has a fatality rate of less than 0.1% where COVID-19 is closer to 3.4% and going up. We know a lot about the flu and how to treat it, and we know it will die out as summer comes. We know nothing about COVID-19 other than its highly contagious and more deadly than the flu. Comparing flu to COVID-19 is apples to oranges.


Coronavirus isn't expected to peak for another 3 weeks and there's no guarantee the warmer months will slow it down. Try not to put too much faith in anything snowgypsy says... if you fact check what she's saying, she is wrong more than right. Probably retaining too much Fox News and not enough CDC information is my guess. I have a fear there's also some dementia going on as she forgets what she said the day before quite often.


Seasonal flu deaths for 2017-2018 flu season 61,000, does anyone remember a stay-at-home order to help prevent those deaths? That is 61,000 in the USA.


In that picture you have all the “chiefs” of every department, all less than 6 feet apart. Do they really think that’s a good idea? If one of them had been exposed, then they all could be now. They’re suppose to be the experts?


I went to the statues that are referenced on the website, and they did not apply. It appears what allows the stay-at-home order is coming from one of the Governor Kelly's executive orders that she recently issued. I did not realize she had that power or that the county has the power that they have to order us to stay in our homes. As we know, power can be used for good or evil. It isn't that one shouldn't stay home, but that one's freedom is being restricted due to the failure of others to act responsibly in the first place. Can we assume that the two people with the first cases have infected many others? I noticed that they are not telling us whether the new cases traveled internationally or whether it is community spread. I think one of the biggest issues is withholding information that they could furnish us making us wonder what the deal is anyway. Not all information falls under HIPPA.


Here are some facts about HIPPA


I think we are owed an explanation for sure, but I bet we get the same info we did about where the 2 people were visiting that brought this into the county, none! Imagine delaying your wedding or the funeral for a family member for a month. This doesn't seem practical and does require an explanation. Also, it is very fuzzy to what is "essential" and what isn't. Also, what is the penalty for violating it? Will they be stopping cars at the stops in town and the county and asking why one is out? Going to haul the person away and put them in a jail 6 feet apart. It is fine to suggest, but locking down citizens? I believe when this is all over, there will be some explaining to do! I also noticed that it sure didn't look like the people in the above photo were 6 feet apart! Social distancing? Where the heck did that idea come from, and how do they know it will work since people have never been required to stay 6 feet apart nor stay in their homes. I would say that Lyon County will lose even more residents with this, and businesses for sure. So, we don't know how many people might be infected? Does that mean the two people went everywhere in town infecting the masses? May save lives, and may cause lives of those further stressed out to be lost as on it appears that the emotional tolls on some of the people are more of a risk than the virus. Well, it looks like good-bye DK with an infection rate so high that a stay-at-home order has been placed on the citizens! Two people diagnosed? Take a look at the other counties and see which ones with 1 or 2 people have shutdown. So what are they hiding?


A couple days ago I stated that snowgypsys attitude was about to change on the seriousness of coronavirus since Trump made a statement about opening up the economy and getting back to work... boy was I right.

Here she is, downplaying stay at home, questioning social distancing, and making up scenarios that have already been addressed by officials. She commented on an article about rumors just yesterday which stated very clearly that "EPD and (Lyon County Sheriff’s Office) will NOT be stopping people that are out and about in our community, unless you are breaking the law", and here she is today asking dumb things like "Will they be stopping cars at the stops in town and the county and asking why one is out?" Maybe she needs to read the articles she comments on more slowly?

She obviously still doesn't comprehend the transmission rates... infections in Kansas went from 100 to 126 overnight, and is going to hit close to 400 by the first of next month... and here is snowgypsy claiming more people will die of stress than from the virus itself... "the emotional tolls on some of the people are more of a risk than the virus" is just such a silly thing to say. WhAt ArE THeY HiDinG??? Stay safe and ignore the Trumptards.


Ever heard of the Constitution, or didn't they teach that where you went to school. I'm guessing not. I know your type, trying to shut down the opposition. Well, just "go fish"! You refuse to exercise the smallest amount of intelligent thought past your CNN delirium. Over 22,000 people have died of the influenza in the USA this year and that is much lower than most years, so we should close down our country every single year after this and end up a 3rd world country under a doctrine of globalism. No thanks! Your comments are never researched and you never supply any links to your whatever it is that you just keep beating a drum about.

Constitutional? Many are asking about that. There is a very narrow line that if crossed makes these orders unconstitutional. This is an excellent article discussing the stay-at-home order in Denver which has some elements that may apply elsewhere: and this one: AimHigh: Get some help! I don't think your anger toward anyone that disagrees with your ideas is good for your immune system. And, frankly, I ignore everything except your first and last sentence, so I don't fall asleep! [sleeping] Life is too short![lol]


Of course I've heard of the constitution, I know a good bit of it by memory... If you want to argue that your right to assemble during a pandemic is being violated, have at it! Maybe you can organize an ice cream social, go hang out at the hospital, maybe go look around at Hobby Lobby... can't fix stupid!

I'm also kind of surprised you forgot about the 10th amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."...This is the one that gives policing power to the states. "Police power is the capacity of the states to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory for the betterment of the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of their inhabitants." Pretty cut and dry. So long as the state gives the order and not the federal government, its constitutional. Sometimes you have to put what's best for the country above yourself.

James Bordonaro

I hope the Local Health Officer will soon share her thoughts as to why she decided to issue the confinement order and why she did so at this time.

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