Shawnee County leaders hold off moving into phase III of re-opening

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Some people are eager for bars, swimming pools, night clubs, and summer camps to re-open.

Others are questioning who has the power to keep them closed and made their voices heard at Monday’s Shawnee County Board of Health meeting.

“One person can’t be the expert in everything. One lady can’t be the expert in trying to figure out how this is all being transmitted. We have people, why aren’t we listening to more than one,” Kathryn Ramshaw, who lives in Topeka, said to board members Monday afternoon.

Others questioned whether health leaders or elected leaders should make the call.

“What are your qualifications for making healthcare decisions for our county?” Monique Pittman, who also lives in Topeka, asked the board.

Ultimately, county leaders decided to wait until at least Thursday, June 4 before they decide when to reduce restrictions in Shawnee County.

“We’ve tried to balance. Sometimes one of us is a little bit more conservative than the other person, and so we try to find that balance,” Dusty Nichols with Emergency Management said.

This comes at a time when other communities across Kansas are removing all restrictions.

Shawnee County health officials are being a bit more cautious to make sure hospitals can handle new cases.

“The main question is can we take care of those cases in a way that then we don’t have a flood of cases throughout the community that would totally overwhelm us and that would spill into our high risk populations,” Dr. Pezzino, the county’s health officer, said.

County leaders will meet Thursday to decide what businesses can open starting next Monday.

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