COVID-19 Update From The Mitchell County Health Department – 10/30/2020

Dear Mitchell County Residents,

Upcoming holidays throughout the next couple of months are traditionally a time for gathering as friends and family. With the continued increase of positive cases throughout Kansas, we would like everyone to remain meticulous in protecting yourself and others. As most are aware, there have been many clusters and outbreaks identified in Kansas, including 277 clusters in long term care facilities, resulting in 4,158 cases, 479 hospitalizations, and 479 deaths as of October 29th, 2020. One of the most recent, and notable, long term care facility outbreaks took place in Norton County, resulting in 94 cases within 14 days. Overall, Kansas currently has 261 active clusters, resulting in 8,078 cases, 287 hospitalizations, and 200 deaths. All data included was reported by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

If you have been identified as a close contact to a confirmed positive COVID-19 patient, please quarantine at home and away from other individuals. Also, please quarantine at home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, including, but are not limited to, fever, headache, shortness of breath, body aches, loss of taste and smell, muscles aches, runny nose, congestion, and so on. If you feel you need to seek medical attention, please do so by calling your physician. Reminder, please do not arrive at the clinic or hospital prior to calling ahead. These actions are crucial in reducing the chance of exposure to our health care providers, and allow for the most efficient usage of our health care resources.

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How else can you protect yourself and others?

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, use hand sanitizer if hand washing is not an option.
  • Avoid close contact and social distance when possible, at least 6 feet of distance.
  • Use a cloth face cover / mask to cover your mouth and nose when around others.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect highly used surfaces often.
  • Monitor your health daily, including temperature and symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel when possible and plan ahead if traveling is unavoidable.
  • Avoid mass gatherings or events, especially if social distancing will be difficult to maintain.

Together we can all do our part to ensure the health and safety of our community, including our vulnerable populations. We want to thank our community members for their continued diligence in preventing the spread of infection and patience moving forward.


Cortney Murrow, Administrator
Mitchell County Health Department

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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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