January 11, 2022

Lyon County COVID-19 Cases Increasing Rapidly

Lyon County, and the state of Kansas, is experiencing an exponential increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. Lyon County’s active cases doubled over the first week of January and this trend will continue for the next several weeks. We are expecting to have more active cases than any other point in the pandemic.

Due to the rampant community spread of COVID-19, in many cases an exact source of infection cannot be identified. Evidence in Lyon County shows that many cases may be the result of acquiring infections during small and large social gatherings. Variant testing shows that the Delta variant, which can cause more severe illness than Omicron, is still contributing to this surge in cases.

The recent surge in cases has diminished the ability of Lyon County Public Health to notify newly diagnosed individuals and their close contacts in a timely matter. Public health staff will now only be attempting to contact positive cases. With the overwhelming number of new cases, not every positive case will be contacted.

Suspected COVID-19 positive individuals should notify their close contacts themselves. People who have been notified that they are a close contact of someone who is positive with the disease need to quarantine for 5days and wear a mask for 5 additional days. Please visit https://publichealth.lyoncounty.org/quarantine-guidelines for complete quarantine guidelines.

Individuals who are waiting on the results of a COVID-19test or are notified of a positive COVID-19 test should take the following steps:

  1. Monitor your health. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Remember, symptoms may appear 2–14 days after exposure to COVID-19 and can include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, tiredness, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.
  2.  If you have severe symptoms, immediately call your primary care provider and follow their instructions. If your situation is life threatening, call 911. DO NOT GOTO THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE OR THE EMERGENCY ROOM unless you are instructed to. ALWAYS CALL AHEAD.
  3. If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with other medical conditions. Isolation should last 5 days from the date when symptoms appear and wear a mask for 5 additional days.
  4. Make a list of everyone that you have had as a close contact. A close contact is anyone that has been within six feet of an infected person for at least 10minutes, regardless of mask use, from 2 days before the infected person experienced symptoms, or if asymptomatic, 2 days before the date the test was performed. Contact each individual and tell them that they have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  5. If you believe that you meet the isolation release guidelines and need documentation for work, please call Lyon County Public Health at 620-208-3741 to be released.

What can people do to protect themselves and stop the spread of COVID-19?

  1. Get vaccinated, and a booster shot if eligible, against COVID-19.
  2. Physically distance at least 6 feet from people with whom you don’t live with.
  3. Wear a cloth face mask, unless unable to wear one for medical reasons.
  4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  5. Limit gatherings indoors with people outside of your household.
  6. Cooperate with public health officials if you have tested positive or are a close contact.

Since vaccines became available, those who are vaccinated have been far less likely to be hospitalized with severe COVID-19 than those who are unvaccinated. During this current wave, vaccinated patients are more likely to experience milder disease. The vast majority of patients who require intensive care are unvaccinated or have severely compromised immune systems.