Franklin County officials may issue another stay-at-home order when the state’s order expires May 3.
Gov. Laura Kelly extended the state’s order Wednesday afternoon. The county’s original order is set to end April 25.
In Wednesday’s Franklin County commission meeting, Derek Brown, county administrator/counselor, said that for the state to extend the order past May 3, the Legislature must reconvene.
"The guidance we are being given as of (Tuesday) is to sit tight," Brown said. "That is problematic for us because we need to know what we are going to do in Franklin County. Do we want to think about the potential of issuing our own order again should the state not figure out what they want to do. So much of that depends on what our (positive) numbers are.
"Nobody wants to be in this situation. Our response to this is absolutely critical."
Alan Radcliffe, Franklin County Emergency Management director, said the stay-at-home order is working. He pointed out the low number of 12 positive cases as of Wednesday.
"There is a fine line you have to walk," Radcliffe said. "We have to put a lot of thought into it, but we have to make those decisions for the good of our community. We are still a few weeks out before we can rest easy. We don’t want to be complacent."
Radcliffe said another two or three weeks of staying at home will make a big difference in flattening the curve.
Radcliffe said the public is anxious for relaxing the stay-at-home orders.
‘"Some of our people are getting a little lax in staying at home, but we really need to push forward and continue to do that," he said. "We are at that point where it is a little bit of a strain for some of us to continue. I have seen more vehicles around town this week than last week."
Brown said it is a bit worrisome what the future will hold.
"I don’t think we are at our peak at this point in time," he said. "We have been fortunate that our citizens have been generally listening. They have been social distancing and that has been reflected in our low number of positives we have had. We all thought we would have more than this by now. Every day we are adding from half-a-dozen or more negatives to that."
Radicliffe, who met with Dr. Bud Ransom, the county public health officer, said Ransom wants more people wearing masks when out in public.
"It is for everybody else’s protection," Radcliffe said.
Brown said county staff will be dealing with COVID-19 issues for quite some time.
"Irregardless what happens at the federal or state level or the decisions we make at the local level, COVID-19, we are not a month away from it being eradicated," he said. "It is not going anywhere until we develop a vaccine. This is something at a staff level we will be dealing with through 2020. If we get back to some semblance of normalcy for the people that is staying at home right now, it is going to be anything but normal for us for quite some time."