Wyandotte County ramping up stay-at-home enforcement after rapid increase in cases; UG employee dies

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Officials in Wyandotte County are stepping up enforcement on the stay-at-home order after seeing a rapid rise in coronavirus cases, including the death of a Unified Government employee.

According to the county’s chief medical officer, there have been 137 cases of in Wyandotte County as of Friday night. Dr. Allen Greiner said that’s a 191% increase from one week ago.

Additionally, six people have now died from the virus, which has taken the life of a county employee.

The employee was a 64-year old man who had been a long-time employee of the UG’s parks and recreation department, Mayor David Alvey said.

“It’s always tragic to lose a member of our community,” Alvey said in a news release. “To lose a member of our Unified Government family hits particularly close to home. Our prayers are with his family at this very sad time.”

County health officials are stressing that residents and businesses need to take the stay-at-home order seriously.

“We know that Wyandotte County’s population is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the number of residents with underlying conditions and without health insurance,” Greiner said.

He said models show that we are still weeks away from reaching a peak in the outbreak.

The county said there have been clusters of cases tied to nursing homes and religious activities in Wyandotte County. In Kansas, religious activities are exempt from the stay-at-home order, but the county health department strongly urges worshipers to do so remotely.

With cases escalating in Wyandotte County, leaders said KCK police and the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department will be stepping up enforcement on the stay-at-home order.

Residents are required to stop participating in non-essential activities, and non-essential businesses are no longer allowed to operate.

The UG said people and businesses who violate the order could face a $500 fine.

“Our hope is that all community members will voluntarily follow the stay-at-home order,” Alvey said. “But if it becomes necessary, we will enforce this order in an effort to protect the health of everyone we serve.”

Residents can report any businesses or individuals whom they believe are not complying with the order by calling the KCK Police Department’s special reporting line at 913-225-4788. The line is staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. During other hours, calls should be made to the KCKPD non-emergency number, 913-596-3000.

When leaving a message, residents should include their name, a call-back number, the address of the business or individual believed to be non-compliant, a contact name for the business (when possible), and the nature of the perceived violation.

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