Sedgwick County bans public gatherings of more than 250 people amid coronavirus concerns

Idaho lawmakers are moving quickly to bolster the state's ability to fight the new coronavirus. (Source: MGN)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) Sedgwick County is banning public gatherings of more than 250 people amid coronavirus concerns.

On Friday, health officials said there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 and residents remain at a low risk of infection.

"We are in regular contact with the Center for Disease Control and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Our goal is to keep Sedgwick County residents as safe as possible and we are working to keep you as informed as possible, said Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County Health Director.

Local Health Officer Garold Minns says the ban on public gatherings includes the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship set for Saturday at Intrust Bank Arena. The event is postponed until June 20.

Minns, an infectious disease doctor and the County’s Local Health Officer, has the authority to prohibit public gatherings under state statute. He said the large events prohibition is a preventive measure designed to reduce the spread of the coronavirus illness.

“The health and safety of our community is our top priority at Sedgwick County,” said Commission Chairman Pete Meitzner. “We are supportive of the recommendations of our local health experts and apologize for any inconvenience this may bring.”

County officials will assess the prohibition on an ongoing basis.

“Out of an abundance of caution, these cancellations and recommendations are necessary to keep our community and especially our vulnerable population safe and healthy,” noted Dr. Minns. “As we continue to learn more about COVID-19, we will revisit these recommendations and adjust as necessary.”

Similar to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 is likely to spread by droplets from an infected person’s nose or mouth through coughing and sneezing. The KDHE recommends the following precautions to reduce the spread of the virus:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water - use hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs
• Stay home when you are sick