WYANDOTTE COUNTY, Kan. — Health officials in Wyandotte County are slowing reopening plans due to an increase in coronavirus cases.
The county’s Chief Epidemiologist, Elizabeth Groenweghe, said that the number of new cases had begun to stabilize before June 8, when Wyandotte County entered Phase 3 in their reopening plan.
It was a trend health officials had hoped would continue, but this week cases have increased.
“We think people are seeing more places reopening and people are so eager to get back to a sense of normalcy, that they are starting to relax on safety measures,” said Dr. Allen Greiner, Chief Medical Officer with the Unified Government.
Based on this information, Greiner said Wyandotte County would not be phasing out restrictions and instead may consider increasing restrictions if the number of cases continues to climb.
“At this point, we are set to stay in Phase 3 of reopening until at least June 22. If we continue to see our numbers going up, we will likely have to stay in Phase 3 for a while longer.” Greiner added, “If we see a large enough spike, we will, unfortunately, have to consider going back to a more restrictive phase.”
Phase 3 limits mass gatherings to 45 people and allows education activities and businesses to re-open, with public health guidelines encouraged. The next step would have been a complete phase out of restrictions.
Wyandotte County has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with 1,736 cases and an infection rate of 10.5 cases per 1,000 residents.
By comparison, Johnson County has recorded a total of 1,106 cases and an infection rate of 1.8 per 1,000 residents.