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About 8 a.m. Tuesday, Ford County administrator J.D. Gilbert confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in Ford County.


According to Gilbert, the patient is over 60 years of age and had traveled into Ford County. The person is being treated and the family is under quarantine.


"Ford County has remained fully staffed in all areas related to the mitigation and tracking of COVID-19 and will remain attentive and engaged in all activities in the future," Gilbert said. "Our staff, along with community partners, are all dedicated to the Ford County Community and are staying up late, waking up early to stay prepared and to keep you informed and safe."


At noon Tuesday, Gilbert issued a statement regarding the patient, saying, "The confirmed case is an individual that traveled into Ford County from out-of-state for a visit and is not a resident of Ford County.


"The confirmed case is being treated for COVID-19 locally and has two contacts that are under quarantine for monitoring."


The KDHE will release a report later Tuesday and will not show a positive COVID-19 case in Ford County because "the case originated out-of-state and that is important because we do not have 'community' spread in Ford County as of yet."


Gilbert added that if anyone feels they are in need of testing for COVID-19 because of active symptoms or they 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.


Kansas state Rep. Brad Ralph, who represents District 119, issued a statement after being made aware of the Ford County confirmation.


"The House is working with a focused effort to move the critical pieces of legislation that our citizens will need in the effort to address a reasoned and immediate response to the challenges that we will face in Kansas and specifically Dodge City/Ford County from the COVID-19 virus," he said. "We in the House continue to implore our Senate colleagues to heed the need for swift action.


"Locally, we are taking a common-sense approach that addresses legitimate concerns. False bravado is not our style. Whether natural disaster or pandemic, we face community concerns head-on with determination, compassion, and clear-thinking.


"Local leaders understand that recent events simply require additional response to meet the increased challenge. We are prepared and stand ready to protect our community as needed. We should never confuse decisive, fact-based response with fear.


"Our local history would confirm this thought."


As closures began sweeping Dodge City, the county also instituted several closures.


The Ford County Treasurer's Office will still be processing vehicle tags with the following directions:


• If you are sick or feeling ill, please do not come into the office or Government Center.


• Please maintain a distance of 6 feet between yourself and other individuals.


• There will be no more than two people allowed at a station at any given time.


County Treasurer Deb Pennington said customers should process their renewals and pay their taxes online as opposed to coming into the office.


Visit www.ksrevenue.org/dovonlineservices.html for vehicle services or www.kansas.gov/propertytax for online taxes.


The changes were made to assist in combating the spread of the coronavirus. The public will have restricted access to government facilities, if any at all.


Signage with phone numbers to call in order to receive service will be posted, and nonessential visits will not be permitted. Escorts may be available to help navigate the building safely.


"We are restricting access to help reduce the probability of the spread of the COVID-19," Gilbert said. "As County Government, we provide essential services that are not provided by other agencies, so we have to maintain a certain level of functionality to provide services to all of you."


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.