County Map For Moving Forward in Pandemic

Jody Hoenor, Bourbon County Economic Development Director. Submitted photo.

The world-wide COVID 19 Pandemic has been dealt with by  state-of-emergency declarations and a stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the disease.

Now governments are making plans for economic recovery.

Yesterday, President Trump spoke of his plan.

“Last night President Trump announced ‘Guidelines Opening Up America Again’,” Jody Hoenor, Bourbon County’s Economic Development Director, said in an email.  “The President’s plan mirrors the Bourbon County Framework and Roadmap we have created to prepare. We are in phase one.”

To view the President’s plan, click here:

“Governor Kelly has said in a daily briefing, implementation of plans will be county-by-county,” Hoenor said.

Bourbon County  Commissioners approved a framework, a beginning of a plan, at their meeting on April 14, proposed by Hoenor.


“The most prominent plan widely used that outlines a phased approach is called National Coronavirus Response: A Road Map to Recovery by the American Enterprise Institute,”    Hoener said in a press release.


“The phase we are in right now is called ‘Slow the Spread,'”  Hoenor said. “Experts are saying to move on we must see a slowed rate of infection and our healthcare infrastructure must be scaled up to safely manage the outbreak and care for the sick.”


“Today, nationwide, healthcare workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 are contracting the virus and are dying,” she said.  “To scale up our healthcare infrastructure, the framework identifies the need to put in place technology, for today’s pandemic as well as the need for if/when the outbreak of COVID-19 should rise again.”


Government planning for the transition to opening-up the economy should begin now, Hoenor said.


The framework of the county plan:

1. Technology:” Experts are saying for us to have the ability for screening and data collection,  technology (like a phone app) for healthcare providers and other essential front line workers is a must,” Hoenor said.

The frontline workers are the healthcare workforce, ambulance crews and law enforcement officers.

2. Testing and Test Kits: “Testing accessible for those who meet the criteria for testing,” she said.


“Those are the framework, the skeleton, to have in place to move forward,” she said. “Where the access is, who the partners are, how it will be funded, and the details of the equipment are to be developed like a working document.  We have developed the framework… to facilitate a path forward.”


Many chambers of commerce, cities, counties, and state governments are working on plans, Hoenor said.


“We have to have a starting point, and this is our starting point” Bourbon County Commission Chairman Lynne Oharah, said, in a press release. “This is a long-term process. Our team does an extraordinary amount of data mining and researching expert advice. We do not have a timeline, but we know what the triggers are to move to the next phase.”

Lynne Oharah. Submitted photo.




On March 14, 2020, Bourbon County Commission declared a state of disaster as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release from Hoenor.

On March 26, 2020 the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department Officer Rebecca Johnson issued an order to stay at home.

Since that time there has been measurable progress at the county level, building a framework and preparing for when Governor Kelly tells Kansans we can reopen, according to the press release.

“Bourbon County Commissioners acted swiftly in declaring an emergency existed in the county,” Hoenor said.  “This resulted in opening doors to federal resources.”

Additionally, Bourbon County Emergency Management Director Will Wallis has worked to keep the local frontline healthcare workers safe with the necessary personal protective equipment, (PPE), she said.

“Available relief has been communicated through Facebook, email, radio, webinars, and hosting teleconference meetings with state-level government officials such as with David Toland our Secretary of Commerce,” Hoenor said.

On April 14,  Hoener presented the commission the framework to move forward, with all three commissioners voicing full support.



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