Should craft fairs lead to quarantine?
County nurse cites rules recommending it as virus totals soar
Events planned for Marion and Hillsboro this weekend are expected to draw hundreds, if not thousands of visitors.
With COVID-19 diagnoses in the past month more than quadruple what they were last year, county health department administrator Diedre Serene is warning that arts and crafts fair visitors likely should quarantine after the fairs.
How social distancing recommendations will be maintained at these events is yet to be seen.
“One good thing is, the craft fairs are outside,” Serene said. “That in itself is good.”
But she said she didn’t know what eating arrangements would be like at the fairs.
“I hope people use good hand washing, and I think it’s still a good recommendation to wear a mask,” she said.
Serene pointed to state health department recommendations that anyone attending a gathering of 500 or more where people do not socially distance and wear masks should quarantine for 14 days.
The county health department reported 63 active cases in the county Monday. One person was hospitalized.
Diagnoses in the county have risen exponentially since July 20 and are far higher than a year ago.
From Aug. 11 to Sept. 11 last year, 30 people in Marion County were diagnosed with COVID-19.
From Aug. 11 to Sept. 11 this year, 144 people were diagnosed.
KDHE reported 34 new COVID cases in Marion County last week.
After a lull in deaths from Feb. 14, the county death toll rose by another Aug. 29. There have now been 25 deaths in the county.
More than half of Marion County specimens tested by the state to see whether the illness was caused by a COVID variant came back positive, with 14 out of 26 being alpha or delta variants.