Miami County Emergency Management Coordinator Mike Fleming and the rest of the emergency management team at the Miami County Sheriff’s Office want everyone to stay safe and protect themselves and others against COVID-19 while celebrating Memorial Day.
The modified second phase of Gov. Laura Kelly's "Ad-Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas" went into effect Friday, May 22, and limits mass gatherings to 15 or fewer people.
Miami County Emergency Management offers the following tips - based on the modified Ad-Astra plan - about ways individuals can protect themselves and others over the long holiday weekend.
What you can do on Memorial Day, according to the Ad-Astra plan:
- Have a gathering in your home with 15 or fewer individuals, not including those you live with.
- Use your backyard pool for any parties as long as mass gathering restrictions are met.
- Have a drive-through parade, as long as no more than 15 individuals are outside the car and unable to maintain social distancing.
- Go to a restaurant with your friends and family as long as that business meets the necessary business requirements.
- Engage in outdoor activities at parks or other public spaces as long as social distancing and mass gathering requirements are met.
What you cannot do on Memorial Day, according to the Ad-Astra Plan:
- Hold or attend an in-person fair, festival, or parade.
- Use community, public, and other non-backyard pools for parties or gatherings.
- Go to bars or nightclubs.
- Have ceremonies or gatherings that violate the mass gathering limit of 15 or more individuals when a 6-foot distance cannot be met except for infrequent or incidental moments of contact.
The following information offers public health guidance for individuals and families celebrating Memorial Day.
General Health Tips
- If you are sick, stay home and contact your doctor.
- Continue social distancing whenever possible. The best way to protect yourself and others is to keep 6 feet from others (except for those you live with) especially if you have a medical condition that puts you in a high-risk category.
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover coughs and sneezes into an elbow or tissue. Throw the used tissue away and immediately wash your hands.
- Masks are strongly encouraged, especially in places where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
- If you or a loved one is considered high-risk, stay home and avoid parties or gatherings.
Tips for parties, gatherings, and get-togethers:
- Socially distance whenever you can. Avoid any instances in which groups of 10 or more people are gathered together and can’t maintain 6 feet.
- Given that social distancing is still practiced, outdoor activities are strongly encouraged over indoor activities. If engaging in indoor activities, practice strict social distancing and maintain ventilation throughout your home by opening doors or windows.
- Make sure you have soap, paper towels, disinfecting supplies, and other important cleaning materials ready.
- Avoid punch bowls or other communal drink stations. Use individual packaged drinks.
- Use disposable plates and utensils if unable to constantly clean dishes.
- Avoid buffets or other self-service food stations. Have individuals with gloves and masks serve food.
- Clean high-touch surfaces like tables, door knobs, faucets, etc.
- To protect their health, high-risk individuals should not attend social gatherings in-person. If the gathering is occurring in a home with a high-risk individual, those individuals should not interact face-to-face with guests. They should join via video chat or other virtual means.
- Make sure that anyone who is handling food wears gloves. Friends and family should be consistently washing hands.
Currently, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) does not consider travel within Kansas as a criteria for travel-related quarantine. A local health officer may choose to include this as a criteria so you should be aware of your local isolation and quarantine criteria.
However, KDHE does issue regular mandates on travel-related quarantines for international, domestic travel to other states, and cruise-related travel. People in Kansas are asked to quarantine for a period of 14 days starting from the day they arrive in Kansas after visiting a high-risk location.
As of May 15, KDHE is mandating a 14-day home quarantine for Kansans if you have done any of the following: traveled to Maryland on or after May 12; Massachusetts and Rhode Island on or after April 30; Connecticut on or after April 6; Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23; New York on or after March 15; been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15; international travel on or after March 15.
Others who need to continue quarantining:
People who have previously been told by public health officials to quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should finish out their quarantine.
People who have previously been told by public health officials to quarantine because of their international travel to China, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran should finish out their quarantine.
And people who have received notification from public health officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19.