Harper County Health Department
Email the Harper County Health Department
123 N Jennings,
Anthony, KS 67003
Monday through Friday: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Phone: 1-877-537-2110 or 620-842-5132
302 N Botkin Street
Attica, KS 67009
First and Third Tuesday: 9:30 am to 11: 00 am
Harper, KS 67058
Wednesdays: 9 am to 11:30 am
For convenient form access
2019 to 2020 School Year Vaccination Consent Form (PDF)
About the Department
The Harper County Home Health Agency opened for business in 1966. A year later public health services were added through the Harper County Health Department. Services and programs have changed over time to adapt to the identified health and safety needs of the community. The Harper County Home Health Agency closed effective November 1, 2017. We hope the information will be helpful and encourage you to call our office if you have any questions, or stop by to check out our facility and services.
Why Are Public Health Services Important to the Community?
All of the services provided by our agency have been created in response to a community need to prevent, promote, and protect the health of the community. Healthy people build strong communities. Health problems can interrupt lives. By protecting health, public health in Kansas helps people succeed in school or on the job, raise healthier families, contribute to a more vibrant Kansas economy, and participate fully in their communities.
Public health in Kansas may have already saved your life. Every day, in hundreds of ways benefiting thousands of lives, Kansas public health professionals are protecting and promoting health. Yet their work often happens behind the scenes. You may not see public health professionals as they protect food and water supplies, contain disease outbreaks, teach families healthy lifestyles, and ensure that daycare facilities and schools are safe and healthy. Because public health supports our lives in these quiet ways, people and communities have opportunities to be more productive.
Why is Public Health important? Because healthy people, day by day, build and preserve strong communities in Kansas. In addition to basic services to protect health, the agency also utilizes HIPAA measures to protect client personal and medical information.
South Central Kansas Coalition for Public Health
The South Central Kansas Coalition for Public Health is an organization of seven counties to assist in the services for public health. Those counties include Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Harper, Kingman, Kiowa and Pratt. Below is a brief description of this organization.
Seven rural counties have individual public health departments that are agencies within each county's government. They collaborate to share services through a quasigovernmental entity called South Central Kansas Coalition for Public Health (SKCPH).
The SKCPH's executive board governs and approves services for sharing. Members are appointed by county commissioners and consist of four people from each county.
Challenges of sharing services between seven autonomous agencies include distributing funds in a fair and equitable manner and driving time between locations.
Benefits to sharing services include efficient administration for the programs that are shared, increased comradery and moral support, efficient staff training, shared knowledge and increased collaboration between the counties.
Recently, the Kansas Health Institute published a case study recognizing this organization as a model for regionalization for public health services in Kansas. Read the entire case study (PDF).
Serving the Community Since 1966
On September 6, 1966, the Harper County Commissioners, A.A. Fisher, C.A. Watkins, and H.C. Grant met with Grace Gates to establish the Harper County Health Department / Harper County Home Health Agency. The agency was established with a 100% reimbursement grant, which ran through July 1967. Grace Gates, RN, was appointed as the administrator with a starting salary of $395 per month. Betty Carmichael was hired as the clerk for the agency with a salary of $200 per month. It was decided that the rooms in the southwest corner of the courthouse basement would house the new agency. There was no running water for cleaning instruments or hand washing in this area, so the south end of the ladies restroom was partitioned off to provide room for a sink. Since there were no funds available to purchase supplies or equipment, the employees were told they could obtain furniture that was not being utilized from other offices. Desks, a typewriter, and mimeograph were obtained from the vacant Superintendent of Schools’ office. The commissioners gave the administrator permission to buy a used refrigerator for $20. The agency was now ready for business.
The Beginning of Home Care
Dr. Bellar had a patient in the hospital that was ready for discharge, but the patient needed assistance in the home to manage his care due to a recent amputation. This became the first home health patient for the agency. There were 30 visits made in the first month the Harper County Home Health Agency was open. In 2017, a total of 837 home health visits were made. The Harper County Home Health Agency was closed effective November 1, 2017.
Public Health Department
On July 1, 1967, Grace Gates wrote a grant to develop the Public Health Department and hired Virginia Downing to organize and record all of the immunization records onto yellow index cards. The Harper County Health Department still provides immunizations, in addition to a number of other programs developed for public health since 1967. Most public health program information is now maintained electronically. The Harper County Health Department staff provided 4,053 public health procedures to 1,477 individuals in the community in 2020. 5,292 hours of homemaker/personal care hours were provided through the Public Health In-Home Service Programs during 2020. Public Health in-home services are provided to individuals through a variety of funding sources (HCBS, Senior Care Act, Private Insurance, Older Americans Act and Private Pay). These numbers do not include blood pressure clinics provided at Friendship Meal sites and miscellaneous health and safety checks. The Women, Infant, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC) also continues to be an important community service administered through the Harper County Health Department. In 2020 the agency served an average of 101 individuals a month with the WIC program. In 2020, $52,124.95 WIC dollars were used in the local stores.
Grace Gates served in the capacity of the administrator until 1974. Through the years, both Grace Gates and Virginia Downing continued to provide support to the agency in a variety of ways, providing nursing services and serving as interim administrators for the agency. Grace Gates served the Harper County Health Department as a member of the Advisory Board until her death in March 2011. Virginia Downing currently serves as the Public Health Emergency Prepared Regional Coordinator. Former administrators for the agency include:
The agency has employed a number of individuals since inception, many of these employees providing quality services to the community for a number of years. The nature of the work provided by the agency staff involves a level of caring, commitment, and dedication to the community that goes far beyond the regular work hours and formal compensation.
In 2022 the agency has a number of employees that will reach milestones in the number of years they have provided quality service to the community:
Heather Struble - Administrator -30 years
Jonna Gaffney - Public Health Clerk - 14 years
Kim Bauer - Public Health RN - 13 years
Ellen McDonald - APRN, FP Practitioner - 7 years
Current employees with less than five years of service include:
Jennilee Loehr, Public Health RN
Karla Wade, Public Health Clerk
Delana Edmondson, Attendant Care Worker
Sara Davis, Public Health RN
The Harper County Health Department has continued to grow and change over the years to meet the health needs of the community, to promote prevention and wellness, and to protect the community and the environment. The office of the Harper County Health Department / Harper County Home Health Agency moved across the street from the courthouse in 1993 to a new building at 123 N. Jennings, Anthony, Kansas 67003-0066. The Harper County Home Health Agency was closed November 1, 2017, however basic in-home services are still provided through the Harper County Health Department. Staff members continue to provide services in the Harper County community through public health services, including Public Health Clinics on scheduled dates at Harper and Attica, as well as participation in community health events.
Community Honor Event
A community reception was held on September 18, 2006 to recognize the initial employees who started the agency and celebrate 40 years of community service. Heather Struble received the Kansas Home Care Association (KHCA) award for the Kansas Home Care Administrator Honoree of the Year during the annual meeting in September 2006. Linda Patrick received the KHCA Home Care Paraprofessional of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 17, 2008. Grace Gates was honored with the KHCA Home Care Hero Honoree of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 23, 2010. Virginia Downing was the KHCA Home Care Hero Honoree of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 21, 2016.
In 2016 the agency celebrated 50 years of providing community health services to the Harper County community. We welcome you to visit our office and to take advantage of the services we provide.
About the Services
Public Health Services are an important component in the community health system, providing a number of basic services to promote health and wellness, and to protect individuals and communities from injury and disease. Our programs, services, and resources work to put these goals into action.
The Harper County Health Department also partners with community members and organizations to make other services available, such as being an access point for DCF benefit programs, following up on public health concerns, and public health emergency preparedness planning. We are available to provide community presentations for organizations and to participate in community meetings for the health and safety needs of the citizens of Harper County. Our office also has a wealth of medical information that we are willing to share to promote healthy lifestyles and locate resources for individual and family needs. If you have questions regarding community health services and resources please feel free to contact our office at 620-842-5132 for assistance.
SERVICOS DE INTERPRETER DE ESPLANOL Y INGLES: En el Harper County Departamendo de Salud, 123 N. Jennings, en Anthony, KS 67003. Para acer una cita por favor llame al telefono 620-842-5132. Pacientes servidos sin cita con el interprete que permite.
The Family Planning Program is intended to improve the health of women and families by providing services to maintain a woman's health and promote advantageous timing and spacing of pregnancies. Family Planning services include:
Initial and annual pelvic and pap exams
Screening for high blood pressure, anemia, and urinary tract infections
Screening for sexually transmitted infections
HIV testing and counseling
Pregnancy testing and counseling
Birth Control supplies: pills, Depo Provera injection, condoms
Family Planning services are confidential and are offered on a sliding fee scale. Clinics are held once a month on a Tuesday afternoon. For information about services or to schedule an appointment, call 620-842-5132.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, please call the Kansas Protection Report Center at 1-800-922-5330.
Immunizations are a way to protect against the spread of contagious diseases that can involve serious health problems, illness, and even death. The Harper County Health Department provides immunizations to infants, children, youth, and adults. Our Vaccines for Children (VFC) program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay. An administration fee is charged per vaccine. Immunization services will not be refused due to inability to pay.
Access the Immunization Requirements for School and Child Care Programs for the 2022 to 2023 school year.
View more information about specific vaccine-preventable diseases or immunizations.
The Times released a great article about the (scary sounding) ingredients in vaccines and what exactly they do.
Pertussis (whooping cough) continues to be seen more often. To find out how to best protect your family and community. We have Tdap vaccine available at the Harper County Health Department. Call 620-842-5132 for more information.
In an era of cost containment many hospitalized patients are discharged before they are able to fully care for themselves. This is an area where the Harper County Health Department in-home services can provide care to promote safety and recovery or maintenance of independent functioning. It is a proven fact that in-home care is less expensive than institutional care.
In-home services provide assistance to individuals recovering from illness, injury, and surgery or to individuals with long term care needs. In-home services included non-skilled services including: housekeeping, laundry, bathing, grooming, shopping, errands, meal preparation and limited respite care.
Current in-home services are offered through the HCBS Waiver Services, Senior Care Act Services, Older Americans Act Title IIIB and Private Pay Services. If you need in-home services, or know of someone who could benefit from these services, please contact the Harper County Health Department for additional information at 620-842-5132 and ask for Heather Struble.
The Harper County Health Department is not accepting new referrals for the HCBS Waiver services effective January 1, 2019.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a program provided by the State of Kansas to provide healthy nutrition and behaviors for moms and their children. WIC serves:
Women who are breastfeeding, up to the baby's first birthday
Non-breastfeeding mothers, until the baby is six months old
Infants and children under five years old
WIC services are provided based on income guidelines. Benefits are now being issued through the eWIC system at the Harper County Health Department. To see if you qualify, call our office at 620-842-5132.
During a WIC appointment, clients meet with a nurse to discuss eating habits, nutrition, and healthy choices. WIC checks are then printed to be used at a grocery store to buy the healthy foods that were talked about during the appointment. Some of the WIC foods that are offered include:
Our office and WIC support breastfeeding as the best start for a baby. Breastmilk has several natural ingredients that formula does not have, such as vitamins and minerals, growth factors, and antibodies. Breastfeeding can also reduce a baby's risk of:
Moms who choose to breastfeed on the WIC program receive additional food on their checks and are able to continue to receive benefits until the baby turns one year old. The baby also receives more supplemental baby food than a formula fed baby once it turns six months old. For questions about breastfeeding or if you need more support please call our office at 620-842-5132.
The following classes and information about breast pumps are for all moms (not only those who qualify for WIC).
Download the "coffective" app to access videos and resources to learn step by step how to be successful at breastfeeding. This app has great resources to help you get ready, learn your baby and nourish them well, and protect your breastfeeding bond as you continue.
For extensive questions contact the lactation department at the hospital that you delivered in: Wesley: 316-962-6455, Via Christi: 316-689-5426
Other Breastfeeding Support and Resources
La Leche League, Wichita: 316-530-3555
Julie Fields, IBCLC (Pratt, KS) 620-770-6844
Reliable Online Resources
Stanford Medicine: Newborn Nursery
Office of Women's Health
Office of Women's Health: It's Only Natural
La Leche League
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Breastfeeding
Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere Website
MOBI Motherhood International
Kansas Business Case
With grant funding and the WIC program we have been able to purchase breast pumps to help you breastfeed successfully. We have two electric breastpumps to loan (depending on availability, qualifications and need), and several manual breastpumps to give away for free. We have staff to help with education relating to these breastpumps, and will follow up to see how things are going. If you are interested in more information about our breastpump program, please call our office at 620-842-5132.
Helpful Links About WIC, Pregnancy, and Breastfeeding
Kansas Department of Health and Environment: Nutrition and WIC Service
Text4Baby: Receive free text messages during your pregnancy and first year, timed to your baby's due date. Text baby to 511411 for English, or bebe to 511411 for Spanish to sign up. You may also sign up online.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal, and where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. To file a complaint of discrimination, write:
USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication
1400 SW Independence Avenue
Washington D.C., 20250-9410
Phone: 866-632-9992 (voice)
Phone: 800-877-8339 (TTY)
Phone: 800-845-6136 (Spanish)
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The Harper County Health Department is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Child Care Licensing
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is the licensing agency for Child Care in the state of Kansas. According to K.S.A. 65-601, "It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation or association to conduct or maintain a maternity center or child care facility for children under 16 years of age without having a license or temporary permit therefore from the secretary of health and environment."
Any person caring for two or more children or any number of children for more than a total of 20 hours a week must be licensed as a day care provider.
If you are interested in starting a daycare in Harper County, please contact:
City - Cowley County Health Department
320 E 9th Suite B
Winfield, KS 67156
Phone: 620-221-1430 Fax: 620-221-0389
Cowley County Health Department Website
Child Care Hours: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
**Please contact Karen if you have a concern about a daycare provider**
Looking for a day care?
Call Child Start (Referral Agency) at 1-800-684-3962
To view compliance history for a current provider, visit the Child Care and Early Education Portal
Child Care Providers
Visit the Child Care Licensing website for regulations, forms, and information.
To sign-up for a class, contact Child Start at 1-800-684-3962.
Visit Child Start to view upcoming training held in other counties. They also offer Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential Training and renewal training online.
Other Training Opportunities:
Online Safe Sleep/SIDS classes:
- ks.train.org: Course Number 1014900 "Safe Slumber Course for Child Care Providers"
Healthy Futures: Improving Health Outcomes for Young Children: Medication Administration Training
- ks.train.org: Course Number 1025817 (Child Care Providers can receive 4 hours of renewal credit) -The Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, Inc (KCCTO) has several KDHE approved ONLINE courses, including Child Abuse and Neglect, Signs and Symptoms of Childhood Illness, and Child Development. Access course descriptions and to enroll.
-The Kansas Children's Service League has several new online courses which are all approved for KDHE credit.
HEALTH ADVISORIES & CURRENT INFO
This section will be updated periodically to provide information on current health issues in the community and locations on where to locate additional information on health concerns. Please feel free to contact the Harper County Health Department at 620-842-5132 if you have additional questions or concerns on these issues. You may also Email the Harper County Health Department questions or comments.
Health Insurance Coverage
The following resources are available for Health Insurance assistance in Kansas.
For Children, Pregnant Women, Elderly, and Persons with Disabilities: Visit KanCare website, request an application by phone: 1-800-792-4884, or pick up an application at the Harper County Health Department.
For the Health Insurance Marketplace: Visit HealthCare website, or call 1-800-318-2596 for more information.
The Kansas Commission on Veteran's Affairs (VA) provides and opportunity for local veterans & families to meet with a VA Service Representative in the local community. The Veteran's Service Representative for Harper County is Mikal Thornton and he is available the first Tuesday of the third full week of the month from 1 to 4 pm and alternates between the Harper County Health Department office in Anthony and the Harper County Extension office in Harper. Please call to see what location he is taking appointments for each month.
Appointments may be made to meet with Veteran's Service Representative, by contacting the Harper County Health Department at 620-842-5132.
The Harper County Health Department has not started giving flu shots for the 2021-2022 season. We anticipate being able to give these in October, depending on shipments of vaccine. Seasonal influenza and pneumonia shots will be available at the offices in Anthony, Harper, and Attica for the general public during the normal business hours those offices are open. Please remember to bring in all health insurance cards at the time of your visit so that we may make a copy of the cards and bill your insurance. We do recommend calling ahead of time for an appointment to make sure we have the type of vaccine you desire and a nurse available when you arrive.
The Anthony office is located at 123 N. Jennings, Anthony, Kansas and is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The Harper office is located at the Harper Senior Center, 821 Central Avenue, Harper, Kansas and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings.
The Attica office is located at the Attica Rural Health Clinic, 302 N. Botkin Street, Attica, Kansas and is open on the first and third Tuesdays of the month from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
We also provide flu shots at different locations in the community by request such as nursing facilities, meal sites and businesses. If you would like our staff to set up a clinic at your place of business please contact us at 620-842-5132.
We encourage everyone to remember the importance of good personal hygiene in the prevention of infection:
Washing hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and warm water
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
Avoiding close contact with people who are sick; keep your distance from others when you are sick
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing
Stay home when you are sick
Seek medical attention when you develop symptoms of the flu
Following these basic tips can help you and those around you stay healthy year-round. We are willing to provide outreach clinics and schedule presentations on hand washing and infection control to agencies in the Harper County community. Please contact our office at 620-842-5132 or check our website for additional information regarding hand washing, influenza or other health topics.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough is a serious respiratory illness. It is an infection that often mimics a common cold in the beginning, but can progress quickly, especially in young infants and children. Pertussis is also known as whooping cough. This is because patients often have violent, rapid coughing fits, leaving them to loudly inhale as they try to refill their lungs with air. View more information about Pertussis.
Pertussis is very contagious and spreads rapidly, usually before a patient's cough even develops. A vaccine is available against pertussis. Children receive the vaccine in their normal childhood series of Diptheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis (DTAP) shots, but are not fully protected until age five. An adolescent booster is due at age 11 to 12, before a student enters 7th grade. Adults often pass the pertussis infection on to their children, since their immunity has waned from their own childhood immunizations.
A one-time booster of the pertussis vaccine (given in Tdap-Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) is recommended for all adults who have contact with infants and children. This helps to protect the children who have not been able to be fully vaccinated. Parents can also help protect their children by getting them all their vaccines on time. Women are now recommended to get a Tdap booster in the third trimester of each pregnancy, to help pass immunity on to the baby. Please call 620-842-5132 if you are interested in this vaccine.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus. It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. This is what causes the the puffy cheeks and a tender, swollen jaw. Mumps can be prevented with the MMR vaccine. This protects against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. CDC recommends children get two doses of MMR vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Teens and adults also should be up to date on their MMR vaccination.
Before the U.S. mumps vaccination program started in 1967, mumps was a universal disease of childhood. Since the pre-vaccine era, there has been a more than 99% decrease in mumps cases in the United States. Mumps outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated U.S. communities, particularly in close-contact settings such as schools, colleges, and camps. However, high vaccination coverage helps to limit the size, duration, and spread of mumps outbreaks. As of May 9, 2017 there have been 142 cases of mumps in Kansas. Additional boosters are not recommended at this time, but please contact our office if you have questions about your vaccination history.
In the past couple of years there have been several outbreaks of Measles. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It's followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious (even spreading up to two hours after a patient has been in an area) and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. CDC recommends routine childhood immunization for the MMR vaccine starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. People who are born during or after 1957 who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine. Healthcare workers should have documented evidence of immunity against measles or two doses of the vaccine.
The current measles outbreak has expanded to 764 cases in 23 states as of May 3, 2019. Kansas is not one of the states involved with an outbreak at this time. Measles is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Measles starts with a cough, runny nose, red eyes, and fever. Then a rash of tiny, red spots breaks out, starting at the head and spreading to the rest of the body. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people get the MMR vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella.
What are the current recommendations for the use of MMR vaccine?
The most recent comprehensive ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) recommendations for the use of MMR vaccine were published in 2013 and are available at the CDC Website. MMR vaccine is recommended routinely for all children at age 12 through 15 months, with a second dose at age 4 through 6 years. The second dose of MMR can be given as early as 4 weeks (28 days) after the first dose and be counted as a valid dose if both doses were given after the child's first birthday. The second dose is not a booster, but rather is intended to produce immunity in the small number of people who fail to respond to the first dose.
Adults with no evidence of immunity (evidence of immunity is defined as documented receipt of 1 dose [2 doses 4 weeks apart if high risk] of live measles virus-containing vaccine, laboratory evidence of immunity or laboratory confirmation of disease, or birth before 1957) should get 1 dose of MMR unless the adult is in a high-risk group. High-risk people need 2 doses and include healthcare personnel, international travelers, and students at post-high school educational institutions.
Persons who previously received a dose of MMR vaccine in 1963–1967 and are unsure which type of vaccine it was, or are sure it was inactivated measles vaccine, should be revaccinated with either one (if low-risk) or two (if high-risk) doses of MMR vaccine. At the discretion of the state public health department, anyone exposed to measles in an outbreak setting can receive an additional dose of MMR vaccine even if they are considered complete for their age or risk status.
How does being born before 1957 confer immunity to measles?
People born before 1957 lived through several years of epidemic measles before the first measles vaccine was licensed in 1963. As a result, these people are very likely to have had measles disease. Surveys suggest that 95% to 98% of those born before 1957 are immune to measles. Persons born before 1957 can be presumed to be immune. However, if serologic testing indicates that the person is not immune, at least 1 dose of MMR should be administered.
Many people age 60 years and older do not have records indicating what type of measles vaccine they received as children in the early 1960s. What measles vaccine was most frequently given in that time period? That guidance would assist many older people in determining the need for revaccination.
Both killed and live attenuated measles vaccines became available in 1963. Live attenuated vaccine was used more often than killed vaccine. The killed vaccine was found to be not effective and people who received it should be revaccinated with live vaccine. Without a written record, it is not possible to know what type of vaccine an individual may have received. So persons born during or after 1957 who received killed measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type, or who cannot document having been vaccinated or having laboratory-confirmed measles disease should receive at least 1 dose of MMR. Some people at increased risk of exposure to measles (such as healthcare professionals and international travelers) should receive 2 doses of MMR separated by at least 4 weeks.
Pregnancy with no evidence of immunity to rubella: MMR is contraindicated during pregnancy; 1 dose MMR after pregnancy (before discharged from health care facility).
Non-pregnant women of childbearing age with no evidence of rubella: 1 dose MMR.
HIV infection with CD4 count ≥200 cells/μL for at least 6 months and no evidence of immunity to measles, mumps or rubella: 2 dose series MMR at least 4 weeks apart; MMR contraindicated in HIV infection with CD$ count <200 cells/μL.
Severe immunocompromising conditions: MMR contraindicated.
Students in postsecondary educational institutions, international travelers, and household or close personal contacts of immunocompromised persons with no evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, or rubella: 1 dose MMR if previously received 1 dose MMR, or 2 dose series MMR at least 4 weeks apart if previously did not receive any MMR.
Health care personnel born in 1957 or later with no evidence of immunity to measles, mumps, or rubella: 2 dose series MMR at least 4 weeks apart for measles or mumps, or at least 1 dose MMR for rubella; if born before 1957 consider 2 dose series MMR at least 4 weeks apart for measles or mumps, or 1 dose MMR for rubella.
Summary: For additional information regarding the measles outbreak or the MMR vaccine, check the CDC website or view the Measles FAQs. Please make sure you and your family are up to date on your MMR vaccination. Call the Harper County Health Department at 620-842-5132 or your medical provider to check your vaccination record
Up to date and factual information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is available on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website. The Harper County Health Department encourages the use of these websites to obtain stay informed about the latest COVID-19 news. The KDHE website is www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus and the CDC website is www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. The KDHE link is also on the home page of the Harper County Kansas website at www.harpercountyks.gov.
If you need additional information you may also contact the Harper County Health Department at 620-842-5132.
Bioterrorism and Disaster Response Services
Concern for security and public safety has heightened since the terrorist attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. In response to the increased threat of the terrorist use of biological agents, funding has been set aside to assist community agencies to be prepared to meet these challenges if they occur. The Harper County Health Department has been involved in the development of a plan to prepare ourselves and the community on how to respond to a bioterrorist event. This planning includes training staff, community partners, and volunteers on how to be vigilant for signs and symptoms of infectious diseases, identifying the involved disease, and developing a rapid response plan with appropriate treatment for effected individuals in the community and taking actions to minimize the number of people who are exposed to the biological event.
Actions In Case of Bioterrorism
If an emergency event is biologically based, the Harper County Health Department would have the primary role in utilizing resources available to the agency in having samples tested for rapid identification of the causative agent, and obtaining and dispensing appropriate medications to protect lives. Our agency has access to a number of specialized services, including the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), to obtain assistance in verifying the existence of an infectious disease or biological event, and obtaining the resources for the community response plan.
As with any type of emergency or disaster response in the community, our agency would not be working alone. We would depend on personnel from medical agencies, emergency management services, law enforcement, schools, pharmacies, the media, churches, and the community at large to set up and implement the best response plan to rapidly reach as many members of the community as possible.
Community Value of Bioterrorism Preparedness
While it is the hope of every individual in our agency that implementation of these plans will never be necessary, we have the responsibility to be prepared for this possibility. The meetings with community partners and the planning process are extremely valuable in making all individuals and agencies more aware of the resources we have as a community and trying to find ways to build on those resources to develop tools to respond to any type of emergency event in our community. The planning efforts for responding to a bioterrorism event or a community disaster demonstrates another way the staff of the Harper County Health Department are dedicated to serving the public and maintaining a healthy community in Harper County.
Storm season is upon us. Please take a moment to review these storm safety tips:
Thunderstorms - If you can hear thunder, lightning is a danger. Take shelter if skies look threatening. Stay inside and away from doors and windows. Because lightning can travel through electrical lines, turn off or unplug all electrical appliances.
Tornadoes - Tornadoes are often accompanied by heavy rain, thunder, lightning, or hail. In threatening weather, listen for authorized watches and warnings. If a tornado warning alarm sounds, take cover in a basement or first floor interior room without windows. Never stay inside a mobile home or take shelter beneath one. Go to the nearest shelter or take cover in a ditch or depression in the ground away from the home.
Floods - Floodwaters are extremely powerful. Just two feet of water can sweep away a car, and as little as six inches can cause unstable footing. Remember that flood conditions change rapidly and water can be much deeper than it appears. If your home floods, turn off utilities and keep them off until authorities say it's safe to turn them on. Don't pump water out of your basement until floodwater recedes.
Helping Your Family Plan For a Disaster
Knowing that your family is ready for the unexpected can help you do a better job if you are at work during a disaster. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your family:
Find out about possible hazards in your area and how to respond to different types of emergency events.
Make a family communication plan. Choose someone that all family members will contact in case of an emergency.
Decide on meeting places. In case it is not safe to go home, pick two places outside your neighborhood to go in an emergency and make sure all family members know how to get there.
Keep important documents safe. They should be kept in a waterproof and fireproof container. Documents should include lists of family members, date of birth, social security numbers, health problems, medications, etc. Keep an emergency money supply available, too.
Post emergency phone numbers next to all phones. Teach younger children how and when to dial 911 or your local emergency number. Make sure they also know their last name and home address.
Find out about your community's warning system. Know which radio/TV channels make emergency announcements. Know what the siren sounds like and the type of signals that are issued.
Make an evacuation plan. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
If you have a car, decide ahead of time, several different routes your family could take and where you would go. Keep at least one half of a tank of gas in your car at all times.
Keep a separate emergency kit in each car.
If you do not have a vehicle, decide on how you and your family would leave an area.
Make arrangements ahead of time for a safe place to leave pets. Most public shelters do not allow pets.
Put Together An Emergency Supply Kit For Your Family
Water – Keep at least three gallons (a three day supply) for each family member. Store the water in clean plastic containers and change the supply every 6 months.
Food - Store a three day supply for each family member. Choose foods that will not spoil easily and do not have to be heated. Rotate stored food with your regular supply so your emergency supply stays fresh.
First Aid Kit – Including non-prescription and prescription medications.
Clothing – A complete change of clothing and bedding for each family member.
Pets - Pet supplies, including food and water.
Battery powered radio and extra batteries.
Matches in a waterproof container.
Kitchen items for food preparation (manual can opener, utensils, pots).
Personal hygiene items – such as toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, etc.
Tools / Supplies – Plastic sheeting, duct tape, and scissors.
Flashlight and batteries.
This information was gained from "Disaster Preparedness – Planning for Bioterrorism and Other Emergencies" health-care staff handbook published by Channing-Bete.
This information was gained from "Disaster Preparedness – Planning for Bioterrorism and Other Emergencies" health-care staff handbook published by Channing-Bete.
What You Should Do
Get medical aid and minimize further exposure to agents.
What You Will Experience
You are likely to learn about a biological attack only days later when people develop symptoms of the disease and public health officials inform the public of the attack.
If symptomatic, immediately go to a medical provider specified by public health officials for medical treatment.
If informed by public health officials of being potentially exposed, follow their guidance.
For contagious diseases, expect to receive medical evaluation, surveillance, or quarantine.
If in contact with persons symptomatic with smallpox, obtain vaccination immediately.
For noncontagious diseases, expect to receive medical evaluation.
For anthrax, obtain appropriate antibiotics quickly.
For all others, monitor for symptoms and, for contagious diseases, minimize contact with others.
Leave anthrax-affected area once on antibiotics if advised to do so by public health officials.
Find clean air very quickly.
What You Will Experience
You will know that you are in a chemical attack because you will see many people who are nauseous, have blurred vision, and have difficulty breathing or because you may see many sick or dead animals.
If attack is outdoors and you are outdoors, take shelter quickly in the closest building, close all windows/doors and shut off the flow of air. If inside, stay inside. Then, to the extent possible move upstairs, find an interior room, and seal the room. Remain inside until told it is safe to leave, and then ventilate and vacate the shelter immediately.
If attack is indoors, follow chemical attack plans specific to your building. If these are not available, open windows and breathe fresh air. If open windows are not accessible, evacuate (using escape hood if available) by stairs to street or roof.
Once protected from chemical agent exposure, decontaminate by removing clothes and showering.
When conditions are safe to move about freely, seek medical treatment.
Avoid radioactive fallout. Evacuate the fallout zone quickly, if not possible, seek best available shelter.
What You Will Experience
You will know that you are in a nuclear attack by the bright flash, loud explosion, widespread destruction, intense heat, strong winds, and the rising of a mushroom cloud.
Move out of the path of the radioactive fallout cloud as quickly as possible (less than 10 minutes when in immediate blast zone) and then find medical care immediately.
If it is not possible to move out of the path of the radioactive fallout cloud, take shelter as far underground as possible or if underground shelter is not available, seek shelter in the upper floors of a multistory building.
Find ways to cover skin, nose, and mouth if it does not impede either evacuating the area or taking shelter.
Decontaminate as soon as possible, once protected from the fallout.
If outside the radioactive fallout area, still take shelter to avoid any residual radiation.
Avoid inhaling dust that could be radioactive.
What You Will Experience
You will know that an explosion has occurred by the blast and damage to buildings, but you will not know immediately whether it involves radioactive contamination.
If an explosion occurs outdoors or you are informed of an outside release of radiation and you are outside, cover nose and mouth and seek indoor shelter. If you are inside an undamaged building, stay there. Close windows and doors and shut down ventilation systems. Exit shelter when told it is safe.
If an explosion occurs inside your building or you are informed of a release of radiation, cover nose and mouth and go outside immediately.
Decontaminate by removing clothing and showering.
Relocate outside the contaminated zone, only if instructed to do so by public health officials.
This information was gained from "Individual Preparedness Response to Chemical, Radiological, Nuclear, and Biological Terrorist Attacks: A Quick Guide". Lynn E. Davis, Tom LaTourrette, David E. Mosher, Lois M. Davis, David R. Howell. Published through Rand Corporation.
Public Health Emergency
In the event of a public health emergency such as a disease outbreak, it may be necessary to take medications to protect yourself. In this circumstance we would set up access points to pick up your medication. In this type of event, you could print out the form below and have the information filled out when you come to pick up your medication. The NAPH form stands for Name-Address-Phone-Health History.
Notice of Privacy Statement
Effective Date: April 14, 2003; Revised October 18, 2017
This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information.
Please read it carefully.
If you have any questions about this notice, please contact Privacy Officer Jonna Gaffney at 620-842-5132.
Our Pledge Regarding Your Health Information
Each time you visit the health department, a record of your visit is made. Typically, this record contains your symptoms, examination and test results, diagnoses, treatment and plan for your future care or treatment, and billing-related information. Such records are necessary for the health care provider to provide you with quality care and to comply with certain legal requirements.
We are committed to protecting the confidentiality of our records containing information about you. This notice applies to all records for your care created or received by Harper County Health Department (HCHD). Other healthcare providers from whom you obtain care and treatment may have different policies or notices concerning information they receive about you.
We are required by law to maintain the privacy of your health information, give you this notice of our legal duties and privacy practices and make a good faith effort to obtain your acknowledgement of receipt of this notice, and follow the terms of the notice that is currently in effect.
Effective July 10, 2013 we have been notifying the public that we will participate in the electronic exchange of health information with other health care providers and health plans in the State of Kansas through an approved health information organization. Unless you direct otherwise, your electronic health records will be accessible through the exchange to properly authorized users for purposes of treatment, payment and health care operations only.
If you want to restrict access to your records through the exchange, you must submit a request for restriction through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Even if you restrict access, your information will still be available through the exchange by a properly authorized individual as necessary to report specific information to a government agency as required by law (for example, reporting of certain communicable diseases or suspected incidents of abuse).
Other Uses of Health Information
Other uses and disclosures of health information not covered by this notice or the laws that apply to us will be made only with your written authorization. If you provide us authorization to use or disclose health information about you, you may revoke that authorization, in writing, at any time. If you revoke your authorization, we will no longer use or disclose health information about you for the reasons covered by your written authorization. Of course, we are unable to take back any disclosures we have already made with your permission, and that we are required to retain our records of the care we provided to you.
Changes to This Notice
We reserve the right to change this notice. We reserve the right to make the revised or changed notice effective for health information we already have about you as well as any information we receive in the future. We will post a copy of the current notice at our facility and on our website, when the Harper County Health Department website is available. The notice will contain on the first page the effective date.
You will be asked to provide a written acknowledgement of your receipt of this notice. We are required by law to make a good faith effort to provide you with our notice and obtain such acknowledgement from you. However, your receipt of care and treatment from the Harper County Health Department is not conditioned upon your providing the written acknowledgement.
Your Rights Regarding Your Health Information
Right to Inspect & Copy
You have the right to inspect and copy health information that may be used to make decisions about your care. Usually, this includes medical and billing records, but does not include psychotherapy notes.
To inspect and copy your health information, you must complete a specific form providing information we need to process your request. To obtain this form or to obtain more information concerning this process, please contact the person identified in the beginning of this notice. You will be asked to complete a written authorization form. If you request a copy of the information, we may charge a fee for the costs of copying, mailing, or other supplies and services associated with your request. We may require that you pay such fee prior to receiving the requested copies.
We may deny your request to inspect and copy in certain very limited circumstances. If you are denied access to health information, you may request that the denial be reviewed. Another licensed health care professional chosen by HCHD will review your request and the denial. The person conducting the review will not be the person who denied your request. We will comply with the outcome of the review.
Right to Request Amendment
If you believe that our records contain information we have about you is incorrect or incomplete, you may ask us to amend the information. You have the right to request an amendment for as long as the information is kept by or for HCHD.
To request an amendment, you must complete a specific form providing information we need to process your request, including the reason that supports your request. To obtain this form or to obtain more information concerning this process, please contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132.
We may deny your request for an amendment if you fail to complete the required form in its entirety. In addition, we may deny your request if you ask us to amend information that:
Was not created by us, unless the person or entity that created the information is no longer available to make the amendment
Is not part of the health information kept by or for HCHD
Is not part of the information that you would be permitted to inspect or copy
Is accurate and complete
If your request is denied, you will be informed of the reason for the denial and will have an opportunity to submit a statement of disagreement to be maintained with your records.
Right to An Accounting of Disclosures
You have the right to request an accounting of disclosures. This is a list of the disclosures we made of health information about you, with certain exceptions specifically defined by law.
To request this list or accounting of disclosures, you must complete a specific form providing information we need to process your request. To obtain this form or to obtain more information concerning this process, please contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132.
Your request must state a time period which may not be longer than six years and may not include dates before April 14, 2003. Your request should indicate in what form you want the list (for example, on paper or electronically). The first list you request within a 12 month period will be free. For additional lists, we may charge you for the costs of providing the list. We will notify you of the cost involved and you may choose to withdraw or modify your request at that time before any costs are incurred.
Right to Request Restrictions
You have the right to request a restriction or limitation on the health information we use or disclose about you for treatment, payment, or health care operations. You also have the right to request a limit on the health information we disclose about to you to someone who is involved in your care or the payment for your care, like a family member or friend. For example, you could ask that we not disclose information about a surgery you had.
We are not required to agree to your request except if the (a) disclosure is for the purposes of carrying out payment or health care operations and is not otherwise required by law, and (2) the protected health information pertains solely to a health care item or services for which you or any person (other than a health plan on your behalf) has paid Harper County Health Department in full. If we do agree, we will comply with your request unless the information is needed to provide you emergency treatment.
To request restrictions, you must complete a specific form providing information we need to process your request. To obtain this form or to obtain more information concerning this process, please contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132.
Right to Request Alternative Methods of Communication
You have the right to request that we communicate with you about matters in a certain way or at a certain location. For example, you can ask that we only contact you at work or by mail.
To request an alternative method of communications, you must complete a specific form providing information we need to process your request. To obtain this form or to obtain more information concerning this process, please contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132. We will not ask you the reason for your request. We will accommodate all reasonable requests. Your request must specify how or where you wish to be contacted.
Right to a Paper Copy of This Notice
You have the right to a paper copy of this notice. You may ask us to give you a copy of this notice at any time. Even if you have agreed to receive this notice electronically, you are still entitled to a paper copy of this notice. To obtain a paper copy of this notice, contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132.
Rights Relating to Electronic Health Information Exchange
When the Harper County Health Department begins participation in an electronic health exchange (HIE), the technology will allow the exchange electronic records for specific patients from other HIE participants for purposes of treatment, payment, or health care operations. You have two options with respect to HIE. First, you can permit authorized individuals to access your electronic health information through an HIO (health information organization). If you choose this option you do not have to do anything.
Second, you can restrict access to all of your electronic health information (except access by properly authorized individuals as needed to report specific information as required by law). If you wish to restrict access, you must complete and submit a specific form available at http://www.khie.org. You cannot restrict access to certain information only, your choice is to permit or restrict access to all of your information.
If you believe your right with respect to health information about you has been violated by HCHD, you may file a complaint with HCHD. You may also file a complaint with the State Health Department or with the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. To file a complaint with HCHD, contact the privacy officer at 620-842-5132. All complaints must be submitted in writing. You will not be penalized for filing a complaint.
How Your Health Information Is Used
How We May Use and Disclose Health Information About You Without Your Specific Authorization
The following categories describe different ways that we are permitted to use and disclose health information without specific authorization from you. If you desire to restrict our use of your health information for any of these purposes, you need to submit a request for restrictions in the manner previously described.
We may use information about you to provide you with medical treatment or services. We may disclose health information about you to nurses, technicians, or other personnel who are involved in taking care of you at Harper County Health Department (HCHD). Different departments of HCHD also may share health information about in order to coordinate the different things you need, such as prescriptions, lab work, and x-rays.
We also may disclose health information about you to people outside HCHD who may be involved in your medical care after you leave HCHD, such as family members, friends, or others we use to provide services that are part of your care. We will give you an opportunity, however, to restrict such communications.
We may disclose health information about you to other health care providers who request such information for purposes of providing medical treatment to you.
We may use and disclose health information about you so that the treatment and services you receive at HCHD may be billed to and payment may be collect from you, an insurance company, or other third party. For example, we may need to give your health plan information about treatment you received so your health plan will pay us or reimburse you for the treatment. We may also tell your health plan about a treatment you are going to receive to obtain prior approval or to determine whether your plan will cover treatment.
We also may provide information about you to other health care providers to assist them in obtaining payment for treatment and service provided to you by that provider. We may also provide information to a health plan for purposes of arranging payment for treatment and services provided to you.
For Health Care Operations
We may use and disclose health information about you for our internal operations. These uses and disclosures are necessary to run HCHD and make sure that all our patients receive quality care. For example, we may use health information to review our treatment and services and to evaluate the performance of our staff in caring for you. We may also combine health information about many patients to decide what additional services we should offer, what services are not needed, and whether certain new treatments are effective. We may also disclose information to doctors, nurses, technicians, medical students, and other personnel for review and learning purposes. We may also combine the health information we have with health information from other health care providers to compare how we are doing and see where we can make improvements in the care and services we offer. We may remove information that identifies you from this set of health information so others may use it to study health care and health care delivery without learning who the specific patients are.
We may disclose health information about you to another health care provider or health plan with which you also have had a relationship for purposes of that provider's or plan's internal operations.
We may use and disclose health information to contact you as a reminder that you have an appointment for treatment or medical care at HCHD. Unless you direct us to do otherwise, we may leave messages on your telephone answering machine identifying HCHD and asking for you to return our call. Unless you specifically instruct us otherwise in a particular circumstance, we will not disclose any health information to any person other than you who answers your phone except to leave a message for you to return the call.
We may use and disclose health information to contact you to assess your satisfaction with our services.
We may use and disclose health information to tell you about or recommend possible treatment options or alternatives that may be of interest to you.
Health-Related Benefits & Services
We may use and disclose health information to tell you about health-related benefits or services that may be of interest to you, or to provide you with promotional gifts of nominal value.
We may use health information about you to contact you in an effort to raise money for HCHD and its operations. We may disclose health information to a foundation related to HCHD so that the foundation may contact you in raising money for HCHD. We only would release contact information, such as your name, address and phone number and the dates you receive treatment or services at HCHD. If you do not want HCHD to contact you for fundraising efforts, you must notify the privacy officer at 620-842-5132.
There are some services provided in our organization through contracts or arrangements with business associates. For example, we may contract with a copy services to make copies of your health record. When these services are contracted, we may disclose your health information to our business associate so they can perform the job we've asked them to do. To protect your health information, however, we require our business associates to appropriately safeguard your information.
Individuals Involved in Your Care or Payment For Your Care
We may release health information about you to a friend or family member who is involved in your medical care. We may also give information to someone who helps pay for your care. In addition, we may disclose health information about you to an organization assisting in a disaster relief effort so that your family can be notified about your condition, status, and location.
Under certain circumstances, we may use and disclose health information about you for research purposes. For example, a research project may involve comparing the health and recovery of all patients who received one medication to those who received another for the same condition. All research projects, however, are subject to special approval process. This process evaluates a proposed research project and its use of health information, trying to balance the research needs with patients' need for privacy of their health information. Before we use or disclose health information for research, the project will have been approved through this research approval process, but we may, however, disclose health information about you to people preparing to conduct a research project. For example, to help them look for patients for specific medical needs, so long as the health information they review does not leave HCHD. We will almost always ask for your specific permission if the researcher will have access to your name, address, or other information that reveals who you are, or will be involved in your care at HCHD.
As Required By Law
We will disclose health information about you when required to do so by federal, state, or local law.
To Avert a Serious Threat to Health or Safety
We may use and disclose health information about you when necessary to prevent a serious threat to your health and safety or the health and safety of the public or another person. Any disclosure, however, would only be to someone able to help prevent the threat.
Organ & Tissue Donation
If you are an organ donor, we may use or disclose health information to organizations that handle organ procurement or organ, eye, or tissue transplantation or to an organ donation bank as necessary to facilitate organ or tissue donation and transplantation.
Military & Veterans
If you are a member of the armed forces, we may release health information about you as required by military command authorities. We may also release health information about foreign military personnel to the appropriate foreign military authority.
We may release health information about you to your employer if we provide health care services to you at the request of your employer, and the health care services are provided either to conduct an evaluation relating to medical surveillance of the workplace or to evaluate whether you have a work-related illness or injury. In such circumstances, we will give you written notice of such release of information to your employer. Any other disclosures to your employer will be made only if you execute a specific authorization for the release of that information to your employer.
We may release health information about you for workers' compensation or similar programs. These programs provide benefits for work-related injuries or illness.
National Security & Intelligence Activities
We may release health information about you to authorized federal officials for intelligence, counterintelligence, and other national security activities authorized by law.
Protective Services for the President & Others
We may disclose health information about you to authorized federal officials so they may provide protection to the President, other authorized persons, or foreign heads of state, or to conduct special investigations.
Inmates / Persons in Custody
If you are an inmate of a correctional institution or under the custody of a law enforcement official, we may release health information about you to the correctional institution or law enforcement official. This release would be necessary for the institution to provide you with health care, to protect your health and safety of others, or for the safety and security of the correctional institution.
Public Health Risks
We may disclose health information about you for public health activities. These activities generally include the following:
To prevent or control disease, injury, or disability
To report births and deaths
To report child abuse or neglect
To report reactions to medications or problems with products
To notify people of recalls of products they may be using
To notify a person who may have been exposed to a disease or may be at risk for contract or spreading a disease or condition
To notify the appropriate government authority if we believe a patient has been the victim of abuse, neglect, or domestic violence
We will only make this disclosure if you agree or when required or authorized by the law.
Health Oversight Activities
We may disclose health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law. These oversight activities include audits, investigations, inspections, and licensure. These activities are necessary for the government to monitor the health care system, government programs, and compliance with civil rights laws.
Lawsuits & Disputes
If you are involved in a lawsuit or a dispute, we may disclose health information about you in response to a court or administrative order. We may also disclose health information about you in response to a subpoena, discovery request, or other lawful process by someone else involved in the dispute, but only if efforts have been made to tell you about the request or to obtain an order protecting the information requested.
We may release health information if asked to do so by a law enforcement official:
In response to a court order, subpoena, warrant, summons, or similar process
To identify or locate a suspect, fugitive, material witness, or missing person
About the victim of a crime if, under certain limited circumstances, we are unable to obtain the person's agreement
About a death we believe may be the result of criminal conduct
About criminal conduct at HCHD
In emergency circumstances to report a crime, the location of the crime or victims, or the identity, description, or location of the person who committed the crime
Coroners, Medical Examiners, & Funeral Directors
We may release health information to a coroner or medical examiner. This may be necessary to identify a deceased person or determine the cause of death. We may also release health information about patients of HCHD to funeral directors as necessary for them to carry out their duties.
Governor Laura Kelly Announces Transition to COVID-19 Endemic Response
March 31, 2022- Governor Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) today announced their continued efforts to shift to the next chapter of the COVID-19 response, pivoting from emergency pandemic response to endemic normalcy. On April 1, KDHE will make changes to continue the transition from emergency response to our ‘new normal,’ which includes life with COVID-19—similar to how we deal with other recurring diseases like the flu. Using the lessons learned over the past two years, KDHE will continue to ensure the State is prepared for potential surges or other needs that might arise in the future.
"Kansas is continuing the transition to a new phase of understanding and living with COVID-19,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We know the pandemic is not over, however we now have the tools and knowledge obtained over the past two years to prevent or reduce the spread of the virus. We are normalizing our COVID-19 response and incorporating these lessons into our larger efforts at improving health outcomes for all Kansans, which includes work on multiple diseases and an awareness of differing risk factors.”
This decision comes as current COVID-19 metrics are moving in the right direction. Over the last two years, KDHE has made significant progress in keeping Kansas communities safe with the help of partners throughout the State: over 7 million tests have been given, over 4 million vaccines have been administered, and over 78% of eligible Kansans have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.
“In our new normal, we will continue to ensure that Kansans have equitable access to life-saving vaccines, tests, and treatments. This shift does not mean that COVID is over, but rather we are working to manage the disease in a way that allows us to maintain a more normal life that is once again filled with friends, families and other loved ones,” said KDHE Secretary Janet Stanek.
Working with Local Health Departments (LHDs) and stakeholders, KDHE’s endemic plan addresses six key areas that are designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Kansans:
Intervention: KDHE will continue to provide comprehensive guidance, while continuing to offer additional assistance to underserved and/or vulnerable populations.
Vaccination: KDHE will focus on making sure vulnerable populations have access to the COVID-19 vaccine while existing vaccine providers, including health care providers, pharmacists, hospitals, and LHDs, will continue to serve the broader population.
Treatment: KDHE will continue to ensure Kansans will be able to receive COVID-19 treatment across the State, as treatment distribution shifts away from public health entities and back to local health care providers.
Testing: KDHE will continue to support access to free testing across the state through community testing sites, LHDs, and K-12 schools as long as federal funding is available. In addition, the federal government provides direct testing support to Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies around the state. To find a free testing location near you, go to knowbeforeyougoKS.com. KDHE testing support for Long Term Care Facilities will be phased out on May 15, 2022, and testing support for employers ends on June 30, 2022.
Monitoring: KDHE will continue to monitor data as reported by organizations and facilities across the state to understand the status of COVID-19 and proactively identify at-risk groups. Public reporting will be reduced to once a week.
Communications: KDHE will continue to provide essential and accessible COVID information to keep Kansans safe and aware of any subsequent changes to COVID-19 response efforts.
Across each of the above areas, KDHE will remain prepared to ramp up capacity to quickly respond to a surge and keep Kansans safe should the need arise.
January 31, 2022 Update:
KDHE is taking over all investigations for COVID-19 for Harper County. They will now be the contact point for any questions on isolation and quarantine. If you need a release letter or have questions about your case, please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785-542-6625 ext. 0. While Kansas is experiencing a surge of cases, KDHE is only reaching out to cases that are <18 and >65. If you are not in this category and have questions, please use the contact information above.
Additionally, KDHE is stopping all contact tracing. Positive cases are now responsible to notify the people that they were around while symptomatic and up to two days prior. If you have been in contact with a positive case during their contagious period, you are still expected to quarantine.
Since we are no longer receiving notifications of cases, we will not be positing case number updates for our county. Current statistics for Harper County can be found at: https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/160/COVID-19-in-Kansas
Harper County COVID-19 Vaccination Information as of 11/05/21 -
Eligible Population that have Completed the COVID-19 Vaccine Series - 50.55% and Eligible Population with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine - 54.82% - per KDHE vaccine website.
*** Links to COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheets -
Pfizer Vaccine - https://www.fda.gov/media/144414/download
Moderna Vaccine - https://www.modernatx.com/covid19vaccine-eua/eua-fact-sheet-recipients.pdf
Johnson & Johnson - https://www.fda.gov/media/146305/download
The Harper County Health Department may/will not release further information on patients. We are tasked with notifying any contacts of the confirmed cases. We continue to recommend all people with symptoms associated with COVID-19 call their medical provider and we continue to collaborate with the health care providers in our community.
Please continue to help slow the spread by...
Staying home if you are sick
Wash your hands frequently, and avoid touching your face
Wear a mask in public settings
Maximize physical distance (6 feet or more) in public settings
Avoid socializing with groups
Follow quarantine guidelines following travel or when instructed by health officials
New Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines:
COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster FAQ: