Unified Government steps up enforcement of stay-at-home order

$500 fines possible for non-compliance
Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office
Posted at 9:06 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 22:06:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, announced Friday that KCK police and Wyandotte County sheriff's deputies will step up enforcement of the stay-at-home order for non-essential activities and businesses, including a possible $500 fine.

Wyandotte County has seen a surge in confirmed COVID-19 cases during the last week.

There were 47 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the county on Friday, March 27. That number had surged to 139, including six deaths, by 8:45 p.m. on Friday, April 3 — an increase of more than 195% in a week with the peak for infections still several weeks away.

“We know that Wyandotte County’s population is uniquely vulnerable to COVID-19 because of the number of residents with underlying conditions and without health insurance,” UG Chief Medical Officer Allen Greiner said in a statement. “We have taken aggressive action in the Kansas City region and State of Kansas, but we must be even more diligent to take care of our community in Wyandotte County.”

The UG confirmed Friday evening that one of the county's COVID-19 deaths is a 64-year man, who was "a long-time employee of the Unified Government’s Parks and Recreation Department."

“It’s always tragic to lose a member of our community,” KCK Mayor David Alvey in a statement. “To lose a member of our Unified Government family hits particularly close to home. Our prayers are with his family at this very sad time.”

The stepped-up vigilance by law enforcement personnel, which went into effect Friday, is one piece of the UG’s effort to slow further spread within the community.

“We know our residents want to be safe, and want their families and neighbors to be safe, so our hope is that all community members will voluntarily follow the Stay at Home Order,” Alvey said in a statement. “But if it becomes necessary, we will enforce this order in an effort to protect the health of everyone we serve.”

Greiner also sounded a warning, which echoed that of medical experts around the country, that things may yet get worse before the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

“We are in the early days of this outbreak,” said Greiner. “The epidemiological models we are using show that the peak number of cases won’t occur until at least the end of April. That’s why it’s vitally important that our residents and businesses comply with the Stay-At-Home Order and practice social distancing so we can slow down the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

Nineteen of Wyandotte County’s positive COVID-19 cases are from the Riverbend Post Acute Care Center, including 17 patients and two staff members, according to the UG’s Health Department. So far, six of those people have required hospitalization.

The UG also has confirmed three smaller clusters related to religious activities, including a group who attended the Kansas East Jurisdiction’s 2020 Ministers and Workers Conference from March 16-22 at the Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ

"Everyone in our community must comply with the Stay-At-Home Order and practice social distancing,” Greiner said in a statement. “This means staying six feet or more away from everyone possible — even if they don’t have the symptoms of COVID-19. If we work together to slow the spread of COVID-19, we can protect ourselves, our families and our Wyandotte County community.”