Category Archives: Kansas

Resident Death at Hutchinson Correction Facility

 

TOPEKA, Kansas – A Hutchinson Correctional Facility resident who died Tuesday, Oct. 27 had tested positive for COVID-19. This is the seventh resident death related to COVID-19.

The resident tested positive for the virus on Oct. 13 and was transferred to the hospital on Oct. 16.  The resident’s family has asked that his name not be released. He was a 66-year old while male with underlying medical concerns that contributed to his condition.

 

The resident was serving an indeterminate life sentence for aggravated sodomy. He had been imprisoned with the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) since August 1988.

 

The Hutchinson Correctional Facility is Kansas’ second-oldest prison and houses 1,884 men.  Formerly known as the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory, the facility has three buildings including the Central (all custody levels), East (low-medium custody) and South (minimum) units.

For current information on COVID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at kdhe.ks.gov/coronavirus. For information on the KDOC’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.doc.ks.gov/kdoc-coronavirus-updates.

Halloween Tips for Safe Kids

Governor Laura Kelly, Safe Kids Kansas Offer Safe Halloween Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

TOPEKA –Governor Laura Kelly today joined Safe Kids Kansas to encourage Kansas families to seek creative alternatives for regular Halloween activities that will encourage safety and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“It is unfortunate that this year, Halloween will look a little bit different for Kansas kids,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “But by using commonsense safety measures, families can still enjoy holiday fun while limiting the spread of COVID-19. I encourage all Kansans to read and follow Safe Kids Kansas’ commonsense guidelines this weekend.”

The safety guidelines are as follows:

Planning Your Costume:

  • When selecting a costume, make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls, whether around the house or on the street.
  • For greater visibility, decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colored clothing.
  • Choose non-toxic face paint and make-up whenever possible to ensure kids can see because a full-face Halloween masks can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Facemasks to protect from COVID should not be decorated with paint or magic markers as they can be toxic.

When Halloween activities take you outside the home – Tips for Kids:

  • Have kids carry glow sticks or flashlights or put retroreflective tape on costumes to help children see and be seen by drivers.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible and only cross the street at corners and crosswalks. Look left, right and left again when crossing the street and make eye contact or wave at any drivers stopped at the intersection to make sure they see you.
  • Put electronic devices down. Keep eyes up, not down at your screen, when walking and crossing the street.
  • Watch for cars that are turning or backing up. Teach children to never dart out into the street or cross between parked cars and be especially careful around driveways and alleys.
  • Join kids under age 12 for trick-or-treating. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, tell them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit, stay on sidewalks if available, and trick-or-treat in small groups. Make sure they have a phone in case of emergencies, but remind them not to let it be a distraction.

When Halloween activities take you outside the home – Tips for drivers:

  • Be especially alert and take extra time to look for kids at intersections, on medians and on curbs. Children are excited on Halloween and may move in unpredictable ways.
  • Slow down in residential neighborhoods. Remember that popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Reduce any distractions inside your car, such as talking on the phone or eating, so you can concentrate on the road and your surroundings.

When you’re planning Halloween activities at home:

  • Use glow sticks and battery-powered fake candles to light up jack-o-lanterns instead of real candles. This will help prevent burns from open flames.
  • Let adults do the carving.  Children can do the designing and scooping out pumpkin seeds, but when it comes to sharp knives, leave the carving to the grown-ups.
  • Keep decorations away from open flames, light bulbs and heaters. Paper decorations and things like cornstalks can catch fire easily. Double check to make sure smoke alarms are working correctly and review your fire escape plan with your family in case there is a fire.
  • Store household cleaning products out of children’s reach and sight. We all have additional cleaning products and disinfectants in the home right now and young kids are often eye-level with items on counters and under kitchen and bathroom sinks. So, remember to keep cleaning supplies and hand sanitizers where children can’t reach them and save the Poison Help number in your phone in case there is an emergency: 1-800-222-1222.

For KDHE guidance on safely celebrating Halloween during the COVID19 pandemic, visit https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1468/KDHE-Guidance-for-Celebrating-Halloween-PDF—92320

For more tips and resources to keep kids safe from injuries during the pandemic – including our Parents Guide – visit our Coronavirus Resources page at https://www.safekids.org/parents-guide-child-safety.

Additional Halloween ideas, guidelines and recommendations, are available through the Centers For Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

###

About Safe Kids Kansas

Safe Kids Kansas works to prevent childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children. Safe Kids Kansas is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing injuries in children. Coalition members include over 70 statewide organizations, agencies and businesses and a network of local coalitions across the state. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment serves as the Lead Agency for the coalition.

Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Complete and Return Advance Ballots

Governor Kelly and KHLAAC Remind Voters with Advance Ballots to Complete and Return

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and The Voter Turnout Project of the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission (KHLAAC) urge all voters who requested advance ballots by mail to vote with their mailed ballots

“As a reminder to those who have requested advance ballots—make sure you use the ballot that was mailed to you, rather than going to a polling site and receiving a provisional ballot,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “If you already requested a ballot to be sent to you, wait for it to arrive, then mail it back, or drop it at your county election office or local ballot drop box.”

Voters who requested an advance by mail ballot but choose to cast their ballot in person will be given a provisional ballot to ensure they only vote once. Provisional ballots are not counted until following the election—during the county canvass.

“Due to the pandemic and increased participation in voting, many voters are trying to understand what voting options they have if they have requested a ballot by mail,” Executive Director of the KHLAAC Aude Negrete said,” If a voter has requested a ballot by mail, they should complete the ballot that was mailed to them and then return it to the election office. If they choose to vote in-person, they will have to cast a provisional ballot that won’t be counted until after the election. Many counties have set up drop boxes that voters may use to return their ballot if they opt to return it in person instead of mailing it back.”

If a voter is unsure as to if they have requested a ballot, they can find that information on the Secretary of State website at https://myvoteinfo.voteks.org/VoterView.

The Latino Voter Turnout project of the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission (KHLAAC) is a collaboration of with over twenty Kansas Latino agencies to increase voter engagement in the community. More information about KHLAAC’s efforts visit: https://khlaac.ks.gov/voto-latino

Halloween Guidelines In A Pandemic

KS Dept. of Health and Environment Guidance for Celebrating Halloween, September 2020

This document outlines guidance and considerations for celebrating Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. As typical Halloween celebrations do not allow for minimizing contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives. Refer also to any specific city or county guidance in your community which may be more restrictive than what is outlined below.

Halloween Activities Not Recommended

• Gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members
• Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions
• Door to door trick or treating – It is very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure everyone (trick or treaters and residents of homes being visited) are properly wearing face coverings, and because food sharing is risky.
• “Trunk or treating” – It is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food at such events.
• Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.

Recommended

• Online parties or contests (e.g., costume contests, pumpkin carving)
• Car parades
o Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate vehicles and drive by judges that are appropriately physically distanced
o Drive through events where individuals remain in vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays
o Drive in events where individuals receive a treat bag (with commercially packaged, non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle
• Halloween movie nights at drive in theaters
• Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants, complying with restaurant protocol
• Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum, complying with museum protocol
• Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations

Personal Protection Measures

Regardless of how you celebrate, there are important recommendations for how to keep yourself and your household members safe.

• Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others who are not part of your household.
• Avoid confined spaces, including indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6-feet between you and others.
• Practice physical distancing – place at least 6-feet between yourself and other people who are not part of your household.
• Practice routine hand hygiene – wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Clean frequently touched items regularly.

Safer Trick or Treating and “Trunk or Treating”
Although KDHE does not recommend trick or treating or “Trunk or Treat” events as ways to celebrate Halloween, there are some recommendations and guidance to consider if you make these choices for yourself or members of your household.

• Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home.
o Incorporate face coverings into costumes.
o Face coverings should not be worn by children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is otherwise unable to remove their cloth face covering without assistance.
• Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and use at regular intervals while outside your home.
• Consider carrying sanitizing wipes to disinfect candy or other items accepted from homes. Or, sanitize items individually when you get home before consumption. Remember to also examine treats for choking hazards or tampering before eating them.
• Accept only commercially packaged, non-perishable items.
• Practice physical distancing.
o Always leave at least 6-feet of space between yourself and people not in your household.
o Do not crowd sidewalks, driveways, or porches.
o Wait until a porch or doorway is empty before approaching a home.
o Move aside on sidewalks and driveways to allow space between yourself and other trick or treaters.
o Keep a safe distance from cars – do not walk in the street.

• For “Trunk or Treat” events, follow all guidelines above while also considering:
o Maintain at least 6-feet of distance between yourself and other attendees as you walk around.
o Wait for others to depart a car/trunk before approaching. Do not congregate at a car/trunk with other attendees unless they are members of your household.
Guidance for Homes Accepting Trick or Treaters
• When answering the door or coming into contact with trick or treaters, correctly wear a cloth face covering.

• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at regular intervals; hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be substituted if soap and water are not available.
• Regularly clean and sanitize frequently touched items such as door handles, door bells, and door knockers. Consider having sanitizing wipes by the door for quick access between trick or treaters.
• Distribute only commercially produced, non-perishable items to trick or treaters.
• Do not use “grab bowls”, where trick or treaters reach into a communal bowl to retrieve candy.
• Practice one-way trick or treating
o Consider spacing items 6-feet apart on your porch, in your yard or on a table in your driveway with a sign advising trick or treaters to “Take 1”. Watch from a safe distance and replenish items as needed.
o Alternatively, make individual goodie bags for trick or treaters to pick up as they walk by. If your home has a fence, consider hanging individual goodie bags on the fence for trick or treaters to take as they walk by.

• For “Trunk or Treat” events, also consider:
o Participating cars should be parked at least 6-feet apart.
o Make individual goodie bags and place them in your trunk so they are not touching. Maintain a distance of at least 6-feet from other attendees and replenish bags or items as needed.
o Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and use at regular intervals.
o Sanitize high-touch areas at regular intervals. Consider having sanitizing wipes on hand.
Halloween Parties
Although KDHE does not recommend hosting or attending parties as a way to celebrate Halloween, there are some recommendations and guidance to consider if you make this choice for yourself or members of your household.
• Remind potential guests who are sick or waiting on results of a COVID-19 test to stay home.
• Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
• Correctly wear a cloth face covering around others who are not part of your household.
• Practice routine hand hygiene – wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Consider only hosting or attending parties hosted in large, outdoor spaces that allow for physical distancing of at least 6-feet between attendees. If an event must be hosted indoors, make sure the space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows and doors).
• Maintain at least 6-feet between yourself and people who are not members of your household, especially when cloth face coverings are removed for eating and drinking.

• When setting up tables and chairs, create individual seating areas of various sizes spaced 6-feet apart to be utilized by individual family or household units. Encourage guests to sit only with those who are members of their household, especially for eating and drinking when cloth face coverings will be removed.
• Avoid activities that require guests to be in close contact or to share items, such as games or food.
• Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
• Limit people going in and out of areas where food is being prepared, such as kitchens or grills.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.

General Halloween Health and Safety Tips

In addition to modifications to Halloween activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remember the following general Halloween health and safety tips to keep you and members of your household safe.
• Avoid trick or treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
• Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
• Hold a flashlight while trick or treating to help you see and others see you.
• Walk, don’t run, from house to house.
• Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks whenever possible.
• Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible. Avoid walking in streets and roadways. If there is no sidewalk, walk along the far edge of the road facing traffic in order to stay safe.
• Wear well-fitting costumes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
• Eat only commercially produced, non-perishable treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
• Do not enter homes unless you are with a trusted adult.
• Only visit well-lit homes.
• Never accept rides from strangers.
• Never walk near candles or luminaries. Wear flame-resistant costumes.

References
1. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Guidance for Celebrating Halloween. Retrieved September 2020 from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/community/GuidanceHalloween.pdf.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Halloween Health and Safety Tips. Retrieved September 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal and Social Activities. Retrieved September 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html#gatherings.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Holiday Celebrations. Retrieved September 2020 from
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.

Rental Assistance for Home and Business

Governor Laura Kelly Announces $35 million in Rental Assistance to Keep Kansans in Their Homes, Businesses

 

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly announced today that Kansans experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in rental assistance. 

 

Approximately $35 million of CARES Act funding is now available through the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program, which is designed to reduce evictions across the state. The program was recommended by the SPARK taskforce and approved by the State Finance Council.

 

“Keeping Kansans in their homes and businesses has been a top priority for my administration since the pandemic began,” Governor Kelly said. “Through this program, we will provide support to tenants and landlords experiencing pandemic-related financial stress, ensure families and businesses stay put, and keep Kansans safe and healthy.”

 

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) will administer the program. Landlords and tenants apply through a joint online process. Approved applicants are eligible for a maximum of nine months of assistance, not to exceed $5,000 per household. 

 

“As more Kansans are doing online learning and teleworking, being able to stay in your home has never been more important,” said Ryan Vincent, KHRC Executive Director. “I want to thank Governor Kelly, the SPARK taskforce, and legislators for providing this much-needed support to Kansas families.”

 

Program funds are limited, and applications will be processed in the order received until all funds are expended. Kansans are strongly encouraged to get their applications in as soon as possible. To apply, Kansans should visit kshousingcorp.org.

 

Sixth Correctional Facility Resident Death Oct. 19

A  Ellsworth Correctional Facility (ECF) resident who died Monday, October 19, 2020 had tested positive for COVID-19. This is the sixth resident death related to COVID-19 in Kansas, the first at ECF.

 

The resident tested positive on September 26 at which time he was moved to the Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF) COVID-19 Management Unit (CMU).  Three days later he was transported from LCF to the hospital.

 

The resident’s family has asked that his name not be released.  He was a 60-year-old black male with underlying medical concerns that contributed to his condition.

 

This resident was serving a life sentence based on four sex crime convictions from Wyandotte County, Kansas.

 

The Ellsworth Correctional Facility opened in 1988. Serving only males, the Central Unit provides housing for 820 multi-custody residents and the East Unit provides housing for 95 minimum-custody residents.

 

For current information on COVOID-19 in Kansas, and to sign up for updates, go to the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center at kdhe.ks.gov/coronavirus.  For information on KDOC’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.doc.ks.gov/kdoc-coronavirus-updates.

 

###

AD: Bill Meyer For KS Representative District 4

Bill Meyer for Kansas House of Representatives
District 4

If you want a Representative who stands for:

Maintaining full funding for our public schools;

Expanding Medicaid to cover 150,000 low-income Kansans while bringing $700 million per year into the Kansas economy;

Expanding broadband internet into our rural areas as the # 1 necessity for attracting new business and keeping the ones we have, enabling our farmers and ranchers to access current market conditions, providing opportunities for offsite virtual learning, and expanding telemedicine into medically underserved areas;

Respecting and listening to the opinions of others;

 

Vote for Bill Meyer on November 3

KDA Offers Reimbursement to Specialty Crop Growers

 

 

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Kansas Department of Agriculture has funds available for reimbursement to Kansas specialty crop growers who attend an educational conference with a primary focus on specialty crops. Qualifying conferences may include sessions about production practices, specialized equipment and technology, pest and disease management, specialty crop marketing practices, or business principles for specialty crop producers.

 

Applicants who apply for the reimbursement will be required to attend the conference between December 2020 and June 2021 and to complete surveys before, immediately after and six months post-conference prior to payment being issued. Conferences not eligible will include those within the state of Kansas and the Great Plains Growers Conference. KDA will reimburse Kansas specialty crop growers up to $850 each in order to offset the cost of their conference registration, mileage/flights, hotel, meals, etc.  The award is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The deadline for application is December 18, 2020.

 

Examples of conferences that may be eligible for applicants to attend include, but are not limited to:

  • Great Lakes Expo Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market, December 8-10, 2020, Virtual
  • Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, January 5-7, 2021, Virtual
  • North American Strawberry Growers Association Conference, January 18-20, 2021, Virtual
  • Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, January 26-29, 2021, Sacramento, California
  • American Society for Enology and Viticulture National Conference, June 21-24, 2021, Monterey, California

 

This program is made possible by a U.S. Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant (SCBG). The SCBG makes funds available to state departments of agriculture solely to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. According to USDA, specialty crops are defined as “fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture.”

 

This grant fits KDA’s mission to provide an environment that enhances and encourages economic growth of the agriculture industry and the Kansas economy.

 

For application details, go to the KDA website at agriculture.ks.gov/grants. Questions should be directed to Sammy Gleason, From the Land of Kansas program coordinator, at 785-564-6755 or Sammy.Gleason@ks.gov.

 

 

Landlords and Tenants Apply for up to $5,000 per household

Home has never been more important. Our homes have always provided shelter, but in the midst of the COVID pandemic, home has become so much more. Home is where we receive our health care, educate our children, conduct business, and connect virtually for worship services, community meetings, and social gatherings.

 

The economic impact of the pandemic has left many Kansans unemployed or underemployed, uncertain how they will pay rent. While moratoriums provide temporary protection from eviction, rent continues to accrue each month, leaving tenants unsure how they will pay arrears, and leaving landlords without monthly income to pay bills and manage maintenance and upkeep.

 

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) has worked closely with the Kelly administration, the Office of Recovery, and the Department of Children and Families to create the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program (KEPP). KEPP is designed to decrease evictions and increase housing stability by assisting landlords and tenants experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID pandemic.

 

Through the KEPP program, landlords and tenants apply for up to $5000 per household to pay delinquent rental payments dating as far back as April 1, 2020. Payments will be made directly to the landlord, who must agree not to evict the household for nonpayment of rent for the months of KEPP assistance received. Landlords must also agree to waive any late fees accrued during the months for which assistance is received.

 

https://kshousingcorp.org/eviction-prevention-program/

 

Public Hearing On Solar Charges

Kansas Corporation Commission schedules public hearing and comment period to receive input on solar rate design
A public hearing on electric rate design options for Kansans that use solar panels is scheduled for November 5 at 6 p.m. The Kansas Corporation Commission will conduct the hearing virtually via Zoom. Kansans who wish to speak at the hearing will need to register in advance in order to receive login information. The hearing will be livestreamed on the Commission’s YouTube channel and recorded for later viewing.
For those who do not wish to speak at the hearing, there is an opportunity to submit a comment online from the KCC’s website, via email or written letter beginning today. The comment period ends on December 21 at 5 p.m.
In September 2018, as part of a Westar (now Evergy) rate case, the Commission approved a three-part rate design for residential solar customers that includes a demand charge. The Sierra Club and Vote Solar, who were parties to the docket, filed an appeal. In April of this year, the Kansas Supreme Court reversed the judgement of the Court of Appeals and the Commission and sent the matter back to the KCC for further proceedings.
An order on a new rate design consistent with the Court’s opinion is due on or before February 25, 2021.
Today’s scheduling order is available on the KCC’s website at ­https://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/20201015103348.pdf?Id=b62913a3-4d73-45a6-8bc1-008babd5ec29. More information about registering to speak at the hearing or submitting a written comment is available at https://kcc.ks.gov/your-opinion-matters.

Halloween Guidelines In A Pandemic

KS Dept. of Health and Environment Guidance for Celebrating Halloween, September 2020

This document outlines guidance and considerations for celebrating Halloween during the COVID-19 pandemic. As typical Halloween celebrations do not allow for minimizing contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives. Refer also to any specific city or county guidance in your community which may be more restrictive than what is outlined below.

Halloween Activities Not Recommended

• Gatherings, events, or parties with non-household members
• Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions
• Door to door trick or treating – It is very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure everyone (trick or treaters and residents of homes being visited) are properly wearing face coverings, and because food sharing is risky.
• “Trunk or treating” – It is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food at such events.
• Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19.

Recommended

• Online parties or contests (e.g., costume contests, pumpkin carving)
• Car parades
o Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate vehicles and drive by judges that are appropriately physically distanced
o Drive through events where individuals remain in vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays
o Drive in events where individuals receive a treat bag (with commercially packaged, non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle
• Halloween movie nights at drive in theaters
• Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants, complying with restaurant protocol
• Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum, complying with museum protocol
• Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations

Personal Protection Measures

Regardless of how you celebrate, there are important recommendations for how to keep yourself and your household members safe.

• Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home and around others who are not part of your household.
• Avoid confined spaces, including indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6-feet between you and others.
• Practice physical distancing – place at least 6-feet between yourself and other people who are not part of your household.
• Practice routine hand hygiene – wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Clean frequently touched items regularly.

Safer Trick or Treating and “Trunk or Treating”
Although KDHE does not recommend trick or treating or “Trunk or Treat” events as ways to celebrate Halloween, there are some recommendations and guidance to consider if you make these choices for yourself or members of your household.

• Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread when outside your home.
o Incorporate face coverings into costumes.
o Face coverings should not be worn by children younger than 2 years old, anyone who has trouble breathing, and anyone who is otherwise unable to remove their cloth face covering without assistance.
• Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and use at regular intervals while outside your home.
• Consider carrying sanitizing wipes to disinfect candy or other items accepted from homes. Or, sanitize items individually when you get home before consumption. Remember to also examine treats for choking hazards or tampering before eating them.
• Accept only commercially packaged, non-perishable items.
• Practice physical distancing.
o Always leave at least 6-feet of space between yourself and people not in your household.
o Do not crowd sidewalks, driveways, or porches.
o Wait until a porch or doorway is empty before approaching a home.
o Move aside on sidewalks and driveways to allow space between yourself and other trick or treaters.
o Keep a safe distance from cars – do not walk in the street.

• For “Trunk or Treat” events, follow all guidelines above while also considering:
o Maintain at least 6-feet of distance between yourself and other attendees as you walk around.
o Wait for others to depart a car/trunk before approaching. Do not congregate at a car/trunk with other attendees unless they are members of your household.
Guidance for Homes Accepting Trick or Treaters
• When answering the door or coming into contact with trick or treaters, correctly wear a cloth face covering.

• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at regular intervals; hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be substituted if soap and water are not available.
• Regularly clean and sanitize frequently touched items such as door handles, door bells, and door knockers. Consider having sanitizing wipes by the door for quick access between trick or treaters.
• Distribute only commercially produced, non-perishable items to trick or treaters.
• Do not use “grab bowls”, where trick or treaters reach into a communal bowl to retrieve candy.
• Practice one-way trick or treating
o Consider spacing items 6-feet apart on your porch, in your yard or on a table in your driveway with a sign advising trick or treaters to “Take 1”. Watch from a safe distance and replenish items as needed.
o Alternatively, make individual goodie bags for trick or treaters to pick up as they walk by. If your home has a fence, consider hanging individual goodie bags on the fence for trick or treaters to take as they walk by.

• For “Trunk or Treat” events, also consider:
o Participating cars should be parked at least 6-feet apart.
o Make individual goodie bags and place them in your trunk so they are not touching. Maintain a distance of at least 6-feet from other attendees and replenish bags or items as needed.
o Carry hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol and use at regular intervals.
o Sanitize high-touch areas at regular intervals. Consider having sanitizing wipes on hand.
Halloween Parties
Although KDHE does not recommend hosting or attending parties as a way to celebrate Halloween, there are some recommendations and guidance to consider if you make this choice for yourself or members of your household.
• Remind potential guests who are sick or waiting on results of a COVID-19 test to stay home.
• Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
• Correctly wear a cloth face covering around others who are not part of your household.
• Practice routine hand hygiene – wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
• Consider only hosting or attending parties hosted in large, outdoor spaces that allow for physical distancing of at least 6-feet between attendees. If an event must be hosted indoors, make sure the space is well-ventilated (for example, open windows and doors).
• Maintain at least 6-feet between yourself and people who are not members of your household, especially when cloth face coverings are removed for eating and drinking.

• When setting up tables and chairs, create individual seating areas of various sizes spaced 6-feet apart to be utilized by individual family or household units. Encourage guests to sit only with those who are members of their household, especially for eating and drinking when cloth face coverings will be removed.
• Avoid activities that require guests to be in close contact or to share items, such as games or food.
• Encourage guests to bring their own food and drinks.
• Limit people going in and out of areas where food is being prepared, such as kitchens or grills.
• Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible.

General Halloween Health and Safety Tips

In addition to modifications to Halloween activities to reduce the spread of COVID-19, remember the following general Halloween health and safety tips to keep you and members of your household safe.
• Avoid trick or treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.
• Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.
• Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them.
• Hold a flashlight while trick or treating to help you see and others see you.
• Walk, don’t run, from house to house.
• Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks whenever possible.
• Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible. Avoid walking in streets and roadways. If there is no sidewalk, walk along the far edge of the road facing traffic in order to stay safe.
• Wear well-fitting costumes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.
• Eat only commercially produced, non-perishable treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.
• Do not enter homes unless you are with a trusted adult.
• Only visit well-lit homes.
• Never accept rides from strangers.
• Never walk near candles or luminaries. Wear flame-resistant costumes.

References
1. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Guidance for Celebrating Halloween. Retrieved September 2020 from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/community/GuidanceHalloween.pdf.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Halloween Health and Safety Tips. Retrieved September 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween/index.htm.
3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Personal and Social Activities. Retrieved September 2020 from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/personal-social-activities.html#gatherings.

4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Holiday Celebrations. Retrieved September 2020 from
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html.

Personal Protection Equipment For Adult Care Homes

KDADS Launches Online Portal for Adult Care Homes to Order Personal Protective Equipment

 

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly and Secretary Laura Howard announced today that the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services has partnered with a Minnesota-based supply company to launch an online order portal available to adult care homes across the state to procure personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control supplies during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

 

“Our state’s adult care homes have been working diligently throughout the pandemic to control the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents and caregivers safe, but these safety measures become more difficult to implement without the proper protective equipment,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I want to thank the SPARK Taskforce and the State Finance Council for making this new partnership possible, and for assisting my administration’s commitment to distributing critical resources to the facilities across Kansas that need them most.”

 

“We have heard from many facilities over the last eight months that finding the necessary PPE supplies to operate safely and efficiently has been one of the ongoing challenges during the pandemic,” Secretary Howard said. “The funds allocated to us from Governor Kelly’s SPARK committee allowed us to take what we hope will be a giant step forward in alleviating this challenge for our dedicated Kansas caregivers.”

 

KDADS received $10 million on October 1 from the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Committee and approved by the State Finance Council to help provide PPE and infection control supplies to adult care homes that are not federally regulated for participation in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Title 18 or Title 19 program. Adult care homes in Kansas that qualify for this earmarked SPARK funding include:

 

  • Adult Day Care (ADC)
  • Assisted Living (ALF)
  • Boarding Care Home (BCH)
  • Home Plus (HP)
  • Intermediate Care Facility / Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled (ICF/IDD)
  • Residential Health Care Facilities
  • Nursing Facilities who do not participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Title 18 or Title 19 program

 

KDADS entered an agreement with SOURCE 309 Powered by American Solutions for Business, to connect adult care homes with suppliers of PPE through a dedicated KDADS portal focused on critical supplies and rapid fulfillment of orders to adult care homes. SOURCE 309 assembled a list of selected PPE supplies that meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) safety recommendations. The products available can be found at https://online.fliphtml5.com/hldlw/axug/.

 

KDADS has assigned a budget of approximately $575 per qualified bed per facility to each adult care home with qualifying beds. Facilities can use the budget to purchase PPE supplies through the portal and do not need to provide any additional funds. KDADS will review incoming orders and may make changes to orders to fit within a facility’s budget and to ensure SPARK funds are allocated to purchase PPE.

 

SOURCE 309 will combine group incoming orders to drive down prices and make individual orders cost effective for members of this program. The target is to ship individual PPE orders 7 to 20 business days after an order has been submitted. Due to demand and market volatility, some items in an order may arrive faster than others and, if market conditions change, some hard-to-get items like nitrile gloves and N95 masks could see extended delivery dates. PPE supplies in the portal may also change based on availability.

 

If a facility has an emergency need for supplies, they should continue to reach out to their local emergency management officials.

 

KDADS’ expectation is that adult care homes will also be able to use the State of Kansas master contract (state use contract) to purchase PPE and other COVID-19 related supplies using their own resources. Approved vendors can be found at https://admin.ks.gov/offices/procurement-and-contracts/additional-files-for-procurement-contracts/personalprotectiveequipmentrelatedsuppliescontracts.

 

These two mechanisms help KDADS meet the requirement in HB 2016 passed by the 2020 Legislature to “provide personal protective equipment to adult care homes in Kansas.”  KDADS was authorized $38.4 million for Skilled Nursing Facilities from SPARK and approved by the State Finance Council. In all, 309 Nursing Facilities have agreed to accountability mechanisms for SPARK funding and $33.8 million has been sent to nursing facilities. Facilities can use those resources to meet COVID-19 needs and expenses, including acquiring PPE or other supplies from their suppliers or the Department of Administration website.  The $10 million related to qualifying facilities for PPE purchases are in addition to the other resources nursing facilities have received to help with costs related to COVID-19.

 

If facilities have problems or questions regarding the KDADS process for ordering PPE, contact KDADS.reopening@ks.gov.