Butler County disputes Governor's chiding for COVID numbers

Coronavirus, Butler County, Kansas
Photo credit melitas / Getty Images Plus

During Monday’s press briefing, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman called attention to a map displaying how all of the individual counties in Kansas are doing with their COVID-19 cases. Butler County was highlighted as one of the counties trending in the wrong direction.

However, Butler County officials say a look at the local numbers shows this is not the case. County authorities say for a couple of weeks in May, Butler County showed a spike in numbers because of a very specific incident in which a single infected person from outside of the county visited, interacted with a number of people, and caused a brief spread of disease among those contacts.

County officials say the cluster of cases was quickly contained and in the past two weeks, Butler County has not registered any additional positive cases and that all the factors that local officials are tracking are currently showing very favorable trends.

“We are disappointed with the misinformation shared by the State of Kansas, as their own information clearly shows there has not been a case in nearly two weeks in Butler County,” stated County Administrator Will Johnson. “We hope in the future they will review their own data and seek valid information as to why a spike might have occurred before releasing inaccurate information about Butler County or any other counties in Kansas.”

Butler County officials say at this time, they are not seeing cases nor a large number of people being hospitalized locally and regionally; the County says is is currently not seeing community spread in Butler County and that its residents are doing a great job on their own following precautionary measures related to COVID without having any orders in place.