Finney County

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — In mid-May, Finney County’s top public health physician sent an email to state health officials repeating worries she’d made clear a month earlier to her local colleagues.

Finney County Health Department Medical Director Lindsay Byrnes warned that the coronavirus outbreak at the local meatpacking plant continued to put workers there, and the surrounding community, at risk.

Angie Haflich/High Plains Public Radio

THANK YOU, THANK YOU

Jose Ambriz of Garden City has a lot of responsibilities for an 18-year-old.

“Every time I leave, I ask her if she needs anything from the store or anything,” Ambriz said, referring to his elderly mother, Soledad Salinas, who has mostly stayed indoors since the coronavirus began spreading in the community.

Angie Haflich / High Plains Public Radio

Finney County residents will be able to get their haircut or get in a workout in starting Tuesday, despite a rapidly accelerating rate of increase in COVID-19 cases.

Finney County Commissioners — acting as the county’s board of health Monday — decided to follow the state’s reopening plan, which allows hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors to open for pre-scheduled appointments. Gyms and fitness centers are also allowed to reopen, but without access to locker rooms or group classes.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

DODGE CITY, Kansas — In the days leading up to President Donald Trump’s mandate that all meatpacking plants stay open, workers in western Kansas’ meatpacking triangle were worried that precautions now being taken aren’t enough to slow the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

“We're right next to each other in the locker rooms,” Brandon Vasquez said about the possibility of social distancing at the National Beef plant in Dodge City, where he’s worked for about a year. “The lunch line ... they put stuff on the floor where we should stay six feet apart. But a lot of people are not listening and there's nobody enforcing (social distancing) in there.”

Corinne Boyer/Servicio de Noticias de Kansas (Kansas News Service)

DODGE CITY, Kansas — Antes del mandato de presidente Donald Trump que las plantas de envasado de carne deberían permanecer abiertas, los trabajadores ya estaban preocupados porque las precauciones actuales no son suficientes para detener la propagación de COVID-19 coronavirus. Estos serían los trabajadores en el triángulo de plantas empacadoras de carne del oeste de Kansas.

BETHANY WOOD / FOR THE KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Notice actualizado: Lee Norman, el secretario de salud de Kansas, dijo viernes que Kansas ahora tiene 250 casos del coronavirus COVID-19 entre los trabajadores en las seis plantas de envasado de carne del estado. El gobierno federal envió suministros para dar exámenes a miles de personas del parte suroeste de Kansas. Además, el Centro para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC) está enviando personas a la región. 

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Dos condados del oeste de Kansas que tienen plantas de envasado de carne también tienen algunos de los casos más de Coronavirus COVID-19 en el estado. Oficiales de la planta Tyson cerca de Garden City dijeron esta semana que tienen algunos casos entre sus trabajadores. 

Bethany Wood / For the Kansas News Service

Update: Kansas Health Secretary Lee Norman said on Friday that Kansas has now identified 250 cases of COVID-19 among workers at the state's six meatpacking plants. The federal government has sent supplies to test thousands of people in southwest Kansas. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is sending staff to the region.

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — Two western Kansas counties that are home to meatpacking plants have some of the highest counts of the coronavirus in the state. It’s a distinction that comes as the Tyson plant near Garden City said this week it has several cases among its workers.

None of the meatpacking plants, which make up about 25% of the national beef supply according to a Kansas State professor’s estimate, has shared a specific count of workers with a COVID-19 diagnosis. And the state health department leaves it up to county health departments to decide whether to provide the public with detailed case information.

Data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and Finney County Health Dept.
Robin Valenzuela

Additional COVID-19 cases have been popping up in western Kansas and a store in Garden City is believed to be the source of several cases being reported there. 

According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 17 counties in western Kansas are now reporting one or more confirmed COVID-19 cases, with the following counties reporting multiple COVID-19 cases: Finney (17), Ford (16), Seward (6) and Barton (4).

Finney County Reports Two New Cases Of COVID-19

Apr 1, 2020
Robin Valenzuela

The Finney County Health Department in Garden City confirmed Wednesday afternoon, two additional confirmed COVID-19 cases in Finney County. That brings the total number of confirmed cases to three.

According to a press release from Finney County, Finney County health officials are working to identify close contacts of the individuals who have tested positive. Those who may have been exposed will be notified as soon as possible and be monitored for fever and respiratory symptoms.