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Thursday, December 10, 2020

COVID-19 Update from the Barton County Health Center

December 10, 2020 
Barton County officials issue joint statement concerning COVID-19 increase

A joint statement has been written up and signed by various Barton County entities as the area continues to experience an increase of COVID-19 infections in recent weeks. Signing the statement were the  Barton County Commission with Mike Davis, presiding commissioner; Ben Reed, District One commissioner; Jeff Tucker, District Two commissioner; 

Joel Dermott, administrator of the Barton County Health Department;  Chad Williams, director of the Barton County Ambulance; Christopher Wyatt, president of Cox Barton County Hospital; Mayor Kent Harris, City of Lamar; Mayor Shannon Higgins, City of Golden City Kathy Miller, John Nicolas and Tom McKay, all aldermen of the City of Liberal.
The Statement reads; 

“Whereas, if the current trajectory and spread continues, the impact to our local healthcare system and providers will be detrimental. Hospitalizations will likely continue to rise further, straining already stressed healthcare services. The resulting impact to the health and wellbeing of our residents could be significant.”

The statement goes on to say that... “in addition to the COVID-19 outbreak, flu season is upon us and our exposure to infectious diseases will be at an extremely high level over the next several months.”

“Whereas, with the changing of seasons many outdoor activities will move indoors. Sporting events, concerts, social events, etc. will all move to indoor venues, where social distancing is more difficult to maintain”.

According to the statement, with the holiday fast approaching, families will be gathering more this year. The most common factor in the county for transmission of the virus has been close family contacts. In addition, family members who are not feeling well are encouraged to not attend those gatherings. The joint statement goes on to say, “Whereas, the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the wearing of masks, along with social distancing and frequent hand washing as the best practices to prevent the spread of the virus”.

The statement concludes with… “Now, therefore, effective immediately for the duration of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the above officials that signed the joint statement do hereby strongly suggest that a face mask be worn in public when social distancing is not possible. 

All individuals are encouraged to wear a face mask when closely interacting with people outside the home, especially in indoor settings. A face mask should cover the mouth and nose to help prevent inadvertently spreading COVID-19, influenza and other infectious diseases”.

Exceptions to these recommendations are set forth in “Exhibit A” that states… “This recommendation does not apply to individuals who are unable to wear a face covering for a physical medical or health-related reason, including those who are hearing or speaking impaired and for whom a face covering is an obstacle to communication; are alone in a room in a public building; have a job for which wearing a mask presents a safety risk and are at a restaurant, bar or other establishment that serves food and/or drink, while they are eating or drinking”.

Lamar Democrat, The area's newspaper of choice since 1870