Ford County does not have any positive cases or suspect cases of COVID 19 at this time.

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As local, state and federal officials across the country declared emergencies regarding COVID-19, Ford County officials released information stating a state of emergency for Ford County has not been declared.
According to Ford County administrator J.D. Gilbert, Ford County does not have any positive cases or suspect cases of COVID-19 at this time.


"Ford County Administration, Ford County Health Department and Ford County Emergency Management are highly engaged in the monitoring and tracking process of COVID-19 with federal, state and local agencies through daily conference calls, emails and real-time updates," Gilbert said in a news release. "Ford County will continue to work for the citizens and monitor the ever-changing environment and provide relevant updates, information and protective measures to make sure we all stay safe, informed and ready to respond to any positive cases."


Gilbert added that if anyone feels they are in need of testing for COVID-19 due to active symptoms or have traveled to areas with confirmed cases, they are to contact their medical provider.


"Medical providers, Western Plains Medical Complex and Ford County Health Department have the ability to test for COVID-19," he said.


With local schools and Dodge City Community College currently on Spring Break, at this time the college has stated there are no plans to extend Spring Break as many universities and Colby Community College has done.


"Our leadership team met with President (Harold) Nolte and set a decision timeline regarding Spring Break," DCCC vice president of student affairs & risk management Beverly Temaat said. "As of the current time, we are following our previously set Academic Calendar. "There will be no classes (during Spring Break) but our offices will be open Monday through Thursday March 16-19.


"We will continue to evaluate and monitor local and area conditions twice a day and our Campus COVID-19 Preparedness Team will meet again on Monday, March 16.


"We expect to make decisions regarding a time frame for returning to campus and/or decisions regarding class delivery after we evaluate conditions early next week.


"We would expect to make decisions and send communications to students, faculty, staff and the community no later than mid week, next week."
According to reports from the USA Today, Walmart cut store hours starting Sunday at its locations across the country due to COVID-19 as 24-hour stores changed store hours to 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. until further notice.


Another 24-hour entity, Boot Hill Casino and Resort, said no changes are being made.


"We don’t have any plans to change hours of operation at this time," said Boot Hill Casino and Resort senior director of marketing Jessica Rabe.


As information changes, Ford County officials want to remind residents of measures to take to prevent contracting the virus.


Use proper hand washing techniques; avoid attending large gatherings and work if you are feeling ill; avoid touching your mouth, eyes, nose without first washing your hands; cover your cough and sneeze; clean and disinfect contact surfaces (home, office, etc.)


For more information regarding ways to protect against Covid-19, visit www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/covid19.


A hotline is available through KDHE at 1-866-534-3463.


To contact the Ford County Public Health Department, call 620-227-4545.


To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com