Clay County Reports First Fatality Due To COVID-19

Clay County, KS- On Saturday, April 25, 2020, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) confirmed the first known death of COVID-19 in Clay County, KS. The patient was a 70-year-old female that was known to have contracted the disease out of state. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family and friends.

This marks the first death caused by the novel coronavirus in a Clay County resident. Contact investigations were conducted by Clay County Health Department Staff and one Clay County contact was identified. That person will remain in quarantine at home until April 28, 2020.

KDHE has released guidelines ( Resource Center.htm for quarantine and isolation of travelers who visited locations in the United States where large numbers of people have contracted the disease. Guidelines for possible contact exposure to the disease are also on that website.

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If you are experiencing symptoms such as a fever, cough or difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider immediately. Do no visit in-person prior to receiving confirmation from that healthcare provider. Please adhere to the following recommendations:

  • Avoid non-essential trips and stay home to the extent you can.
  • Follow all recommendations regarding self-quarantine
  • Avoid large gatherings (groups of more than 10)
  • If you do need to go out in public, ensure you maintain six feet distance from other people.

The Clay County Health Department has worked closely on these decisions with numerous community partners, including Clay County Government, Clay County Emergency Management, Clay County Medical Center, USD #379 School district, and other local partners.

Clay County residents can stay informed by visiting the Clay County Health Department’s Facebook Page, or

For general information, contact the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) or email You may also contact the Clay County Health Department at 785-632-3193 or email

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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