Shawnee Co. Health Officials remind residents public health will always be important

The Florida Health Department has released the latest coronavirus COVID-19 numbers for Tuesday evening. (MGN)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) Shawnee County officials are pleased with residents’ response to the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order and reminded them to keep taking the pandemic seriously.

“It's very important that people do not relax their guard now and that they keep adhering to the spirit of the ordinance,” said Shawnee County Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino.

At a news conference held over Zoom Tuesday, Dr. Pezzino urged residents to treat public health as a priority even after the order is lifted.

“I suspect that things will never be the same as before,” he said. “I don't think this is going to be a virus that is going to be eradicated easily, it can be transmitted so easily that it's going to be really hard even when a vaccine.”

Pezzino also anticipated that Shawnee County has not reached its peak for residents testing positive for coronavirus.

“It’s not so clear cut at what point we would peak and at what point it [the peak] would be going down,” he said. “The fact remains the infection is hitting our communities and it’s spreading.”

Pezzino encouraged people to take guidelines from their public health officials more seriously, even if they did not think much about public health before the outbreak.

“I hope people will use this experience as a reminder of the importance of listening to our appeals when we say things like ‘it’s time to get your flu shot,’” he said. "Let’s not forget that people die from the ‘regular’ seasonal flu every year but many people seem to ignore that.”