COVID-19 Cases Rising

According to Butler County Health Department Director, Jamie Downs, COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise and local resources are beyond capacity.  Officials are requesting citizens to follow guidelines to help combat further increases.

Individuals, ages five years and older should get a COVID-19 vaccination. Those who have received notification of a positive COVID-19 test, please isolate for 5-10 days. 

Persons who have tested positive are asked to inform those they have been in recent contact with and instruct them to quarantine for 5-10 days. 

Those living in a home with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should quarantine for another 5-10 days once the positive person is released from isolation.

Individuals who have been notified they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, should quarantine for 5-10 days. Please follow the updated Isolation and Quarantine guidance issued by the CDC and KDHE. 

Individuals experiencing symptoms are requested to consult with their health care provider for evaluation and to determine if testing is recommended.

“For general COVID-19 questions, please contact 211,” said Downs.

She advises citizens to be aware that services at the Butler County Health Department may be limited during this time.

“Remember to stay at home when you are sick, wash hands, wear masks, social distance and get vaccinated and boosted,” said Downs.

“The steps we take as a community are for our community,” said Downs. “The only ones to benefit are ourselves.” 

Additional COVID-19 Saliva PCR Testing

Increased gatherings increase testing options

Butler County, Kansas – With the increased gatherings for the upcoming holiday season, we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. In the event that you do develop symptoms over the holiday season, the Butler County Health Department will be conducting Saliva PCR COVID-19 testing on the following dates:

December 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th
9am to 12pm – NO APPOINTMENT NECCESSARY 206 N. Griffith St., Ste. B, El Dorado, Kansas, 67042

The saliva PCR test requires that you do not eat, drink or smoke fifteen (15) minutes prior to being tested.

Please park in the reserved spaces and call the number listed on the sign for a nurse to come to your vehicle to be tested.

Please remain in your vehicle, the nurse will come to you.

Test results may take up to seventy-two (72) hours to receive. You will be contacted by Health Department staff via phone with your results.

Please complete the testing submission form prior to arrival.

Forms will also be available at the testing location.

For additional questions please contact 316-621-4517.

COVID-19 Vaccine in Limited Supply

Virginia Ball and her son Randy Ball learned that Kansas entered the second of the COVID-19 Vaccinations Phases. Phase 2 in Kansas includes persons aged 65+; congregate settings such as assisted living facilities and nursing homes; high contact crical workers; all unvaccinated persons prioritized in previous phases.

The Butler County COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee has determined the first three priority groups for Phase 2 will be First Responders, K-12 Staff and individuals 65 years and older.

Virginia is 95 and Randy is 71, which qualifies them to receive the vaccination under these guidelines. Butler County receives the Moderna vaccine and the vaccine sign-up for Butler County residents, as well as those who work in Butler County, must be completed online at the Butler County website:

When Ball logged on to the Butler County Health Department’s website to schedule their appointments, she discovered there are no upcoming appointments available. Not next week, or the week after that, not even within the next couple of months.

“If all goes as planned, said Jaime Downs, Director of the Butler County Health Department, “we should get 600 vaccines a week. That’s based on supplies. Each week KDHE centrally decides the allocation of each incoming shipment to each enrolled provider.”

“Limited vaccines mean limited supply,” said Downs. “We are tasked with exhausting the full weekly allotment that we get so we are in the process of doing that.”

“Currently, the hospital receives an allotment to administer to their staff and long term care facilities receive an allotment for their residents,” said Downs.

The Health Department is the only provider able to administer the vaccine to all the other populations in Butler County.

“We have 10 pharmacies and 2 clinics requested to be a provider but we don’t know when they will come on board. We’re hoping very soon,” said Downs.

In a statement, the Butler County Health Department said, “We have only so much vaccine. If the appointment slots are filled keep checking back to see if more have been added. The following week’s appointment slots will open as we are notified of vaccine shipments. We will get everyone vaccinated that wants it but it will take time. We request your patience as we move through this process.”

Virginia Ball is a “Rosie the Riveter” who is committed to helping fight the pandemic. “Together we can do it,” she said.

Ball and her son intend to keep checking back each week until they are able to get vaccinated. Both have recently recovered from having COVID-19 and want to be vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent a possible reinfection.

“This is a horrible disease,” said Ball.

Butler County Health Department Resources Stretched due to COVID-19

In a statement issued November 10, 2020,  Butler County officials issued an advisory on alerting citizens that local Health Department resources are at capacity due to the number of COVID-19 cases throughout the area. 

“Remember to stay home when you are sick, wash your hands, wear masks, and practice social distancing. The steps we take as a community are for our community. The only ones to benefit are ourselves.” 

The Butler County Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 during a special meeting on July 2, 2020, to repeal Governor Laura Kelly’s Executive Order 20-52 to mandate citizens wear masks in public settings. While that decision has not been reversed, county officials advise the following:

If you have received notification that you tested positive for COVID-19, please isolate for ten (10) days from symptom onset or, if asymptomatic, your test date. A person who tested positive for COVID-19 will need to be in isolation for at least ten (10) days.

If you are a household contact (close contact) to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, your quarantine will continue for fourteen (14) days once the positive person is released from isolation.

If you have been notified that you are a direct contact (close contact) of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for fourteen (14) days from your last exposure to the positive contact. Please consult with your local health care provider for evaluation and to determine if testing is recommended.

A close contact is defined as the following: 

Lives with the infected person or stayed overnight for at least one night in a house with the infected person.

Had direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (example: being coughed or sneezed on, kissed, contact with a dirty tissue, shared a drinking glass, food, towels, or other personal items).

A person that has participated in practicing or playing contact sports with a positive COVID_19 case. Contact sports involve more than occasional and fleeting contact and include such sports as football, basketball, rugby, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling, boxing, and martial arts. Other sports may be included if social distancing, mask use, and other mitigation measures are not followed.

A person within six (6) feet of an infected person for ten (10) consecutive minutes.

If the infected person is coughing, sneezing, singing, shouting, or doing anything else that expels respiratory droplets that carry the virus into the air, or if there is close contact with more than one infected person, a person within ten (10) cumulative minutes in a 24-hour period may be considered a close contact.

A contact in an aircraft sitting within two seats (in any direction) of a person with COVID-19, travel companions or person providing care, and crew members serving in the section of the aircraft where the index case was seated (if severity of symptoms or movement of the case indicate more extensive exposure, passengers seated in the entire section or all passengers on the aircraft may be considered close contacts).

For general COVID-19 questions and to find out Butler County testing locations, please contact 211. Please be advised that services at the Butler County Health Department will be limited during this time.

Baby Jubilee 2020

The Butler County Health Department hosted their annual Baby Jubilee on August 5, 2020. 

August is National Breastfeeding Month and the Health Department recognized that by celebrating their fifth annual “Baby Jubilee” which is an infant health fair for expectant parents.

New and expect a parents received information and resources in the “Baby Jubilee in a Bag”

According to Butler County Health Department Director Jamie Downs, they normally have agencies come in and set up booths for the parents to visit. However, due to the coronavirus, the Health Department decided to get creative and host a “Baby Jubilee in a Bag.”

Information on agencies who provide support and assistance to expectant and new parents was put in a bag.

New and expectant parents were able to drive up and receive a “Baby Jubilee in a Bag“

The expected parents were able to drive up to a station set up at the Butler Community Building and pick up a bag. 

Gifts and snacks greeted the new and expectant parents.

Inside the building Safe Sleep training classes were held to educate new parents on best sleep practices for their new babies.

Stuart Funk with Emergency Medical Services is a certified Safe Sleep instructor and facilitated the free classes.

Stuart Funk demonstrates how to safely assemble the Pack and Play crib.

Safe Sleep classes were provided to help educate new parents on how to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Attendees watched a video on Safe Sleep that taught the ABC’s of Safe Sleep. 

Safe Sleep program teaches the ABC’s of sleep to parents. Babies should sleep:

Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib. 

The ABCs Of Safe Sleep

Following the video, they watched a demonstration on how to properly assemble and use a Graco “Pack and Play” On the Go Playyard (TM) Crib. Each participant was given a free crib upon completion of the class.

* Placing babies on their backs is the number one way to reduce the risk

* Place your baby in a safety-approved crib with a firm mattress and   well-fitting sheets

* Cribs should be free from toys, soft bedding, blankets and pillows

* The safest place for your baby to sleep is the room with you, but not in your bed

* Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down

* Consider using a wearable blanket or other sleeper instead of a blanket to avoid the risk of overheating. Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult

* Talk about safe sleep practices with your family and childcare providers