Douglas County Unified Command transforms to COVID-19 Recovery Coordination Team

Health officials in Rock Island County are reporting 13 additional cases of COVID-19. This brings the county total to 665. There are currently 20 patients in the hospital with COVID-19 in Rock Island County. (MGN Image)
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Douglas County Unified Command structure, which was previously responsible for leading the community through the COVID-19 pandemic has now been deemed the COVID-19 Recovery Coordination Team.

The goal of the change is to help move and manage Lawrence and the surrounding Douglas County area into long-term recovery from the pandemic.

“We have seen good results in Douglas County so far, and our Unified Command leaders are grateful for all the community members who have made great sacrifices and followed public health recommendations to help us flatten the curve of the coronavirus in our community,” says Craig Owens, Lawrence City Manager. “We believe this collaborative leadership structure has paid dividends, and we are looking to expand that because it will continue to take an intensive community effort to keep the virus at bay and manage the recovery so life can return to normal as safely as possible.”

The core Unified Command leadership team will be joined in leading the Recovery Coordination Team.

Leaders have been working together in recent weeks to develop the Smart and Safe Reopening Douglas County plan, which aligns with Governor Laura Kelly’s plan. The county entered Phase 2 on Friday, May 22.

Douglas County currently has 62 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 54 of which have recovered.

The Unified Command has also revealed a Smart and Safe: Reopening Douglas County Community Scorecard which is available here. The card includes information on the transmission of cases, potential outbreaks, number of active cases and the community’s medical surge capacity.

“This will continue to be an active effort mobilized in many areas to both work to help the community continue to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and support those various recovery functions that will be so important in coming months,” says Robert Bieniecki, Director of Douglas County Emergency Management.

The new team functions will focus on economic recovery, health and medical services, housing and human services and education.

Residents are still advised to take precautions and follow public health guidelines, including restricting mass gatherings to 15 people.

Those experiencing symptoms of the virus should contact their health care provider or Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Coronavirus Hotline at 785-856-4343.