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Shawnee Co. to continue moving forward with some restrictions, masks no longer required for retail workers

Shawnee County Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino speaks at Thursday morning's Shawnee County Commission meeting.
Shawnee County Health Officer Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino speaks at Thursday morning's Shawnee County Commission meeting.(WIBW)
Published: Jun. 18, 2020 at 1:39 PM CDT
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Shawnee County Commissioners are moving forward with COVID-19 restrictions, but also relax some restrictions.

Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino spoke during the county board of health meeting and said it takes 4-6 weeks for the full effects of a phase transition to be evident and that we are just now starting to see the effect of phase two.

He also said in order to move on from phase three, the county needs to see the case load stable, the health department capable of handling case loads of 20% or more of positive tests and after phase three, to phase out.

He had three major points of emphasis: Vigilance so the county can have no restriction, that people are close to normalcy but not there yet and that they will revisit everything in two weeks.

There was a motion to move all COVID restrictions to recommendations. The motion died though as there was no second vote.

Although there was approval that retail workers will no longer have to wear masks while at work starting Monday. That includes grocery and hardware stores. Other businesses that have direct contact with the public, like restaurants and barbershops, will have to wear masks if they are within six feet of a customer.

As for the Board of Commissioners meeting, they approved of the Stormont Vail Events Center reopening plans that include parties of more than 500 have to wear masks. If the party is less than 500, they do not have to. All workers will still have to wear masks at all times. They are expected to reopen in July.

Also at the commission meeting, the Railroad Heritage Corporation will donate the Great Overland Station, nearly 11 acres of land, along with personal property to the county. The donation would see the Shawnee County Parks and Recreation to abide to terms and conditions of the National Register of Historic Places and the Kansas Register of Historic Places still. They will also have to lease office space to RHI for four years for $1 per year as well.

Commissioner Kevin Cook filed a motion to defer the vote until they can agree on the language in the contract regarding commercial use.

A outsource company, Bio-Defense Network, is going to conduct contact tracing for Shawnee County COVID-19 cases. The funding will come from departmental budget and reserve funds. The cost will not exceed $10,000 per month for a total of $120,000 a year.

A Shawnee County SPARK committee will be established now. The Board of Commissioners will have to find a commissioner for the committee along with committee members. They mentioned having a 9-team committee, but are willing to negotiable the number of total people. They will evaluate the needs of county, public and private entities.

Pools are opening up on Monday, except for the Rossville Community Swimming pool. There is a pipe leak that they are fixing.

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