Health Officer Lori Forge, RN cautions county commissioners on Tuesday of her concerns about the possible increase of community spread of COVI-19 as isolation restrictions lessen.

Whenever it is allowable for the public to re-enter the Atchison County Courthouse again they are likely to realize the implementation of a few things that some might say are the new normal due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Officer Lori Forge, RN and Emergency Manager Wesley Lanter advised county commissioners on Tuesday that they have been meeting with department heads and elected county officials to get some input concerning the re-opening of the courthouse. Lanter said persons should expect masks and hand sanitizers, and to conduct business through window-like barriers between county employees and customers at the counters.

There will also be restrictions to comply with social distancing, and a limit to how many people will be allowed to conduct business at one time, like only one person from a vehicle and more options for persons to consider about how they do business like online, or calling ahead for curbside business.

Commission Vice-chairman Eric Noll said he favors giving the public options if they want to stay home because they feel safer.

Lanter and Forge also advised they’ve been working on Phase 2 of the county’s reopening plan to present to commissioners after Governor Kelly presents the next phase of the re-opening plan for Kansas.

Forge expressed her belief that the more the county opens up it is more likely to more spread in the community.

They told commissioners they would officially present the second phase later in the week.

As of Wednesday, a female in her 40s was 15th positive case in Atchison County. Of these 15 patients, none had been hospitalized and had been self-isolated in their homes. Eleven of the patients had been released from isolation.

Phase 2 was to have gone into effect Monday, however according to the governor’s updated reopening Kansas plan, that got pushed back to June 1 and a Phase 1.5 was added, with mass gatherings still restricted to 10 and some allowances for additional business openings.

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