State health agency issues home quarantine mandate for travelers returning from COVID-19 hotspots

Anyone who traveled to Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison Counties in Colorado on or after March 8 is required to quarantine at home for 14 days upon their return to Kansas under a new KDHE mandate. Photo credit Kahunapule Michael Johnson. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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When Johnson County schools let out late last week for their spring breaks, there had been no local state of emergency declared nor order to shutter K-12 buildings to in-person instruction for the rest of the semester.

Consequently, a number of families kept planned getaways on the books. Depending on their destination, they may be facing a required quarantine period upon their return home.

On Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment issued a new mandate requiring anyone who has traveled to a number of COVID-19 hotspots to quarantine at home for 14 days upon their return.

The list of locations and trip timeframes subject to the new mandate is:

  • Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison Counties in Colorado on or after March 8
  • California (whole state) on or after March 15
  • Florida (whole state) on or after March 15
  • New York (whole state) on or after March 15
  • Washington (whole state) on or after March 15
  • Any cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15
  • Any international travel on or after March 15

People who have already started a home quarantine prior to the mandates issued Wednesday should finish out their original 14-day quarantine period. They do not need to start a new 14-day period.

KDHE’s home quarantine guidelines are as follows:

Those who are under home quarantine should not attend school, work or any other setting where they are not able to maintain at about a 6-foot distance from other people.

If a person under quarantine develops symptoms of COVID-19 during their 14-day quarantine period, including a measured fever of 100.4 (F) or higher and lower respiratory symptoms like coughing or shortness of breath, they should contact their healthcare provider and tell them about their recent travel or other COVID-19 exposure.