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Changes coming to Shawnee Co. Commissioners COVID-19 Incident Command



TOPEKA, Kan. – Shawnee Co. officials said Monday falling case numbers for COVID-19 in the county are the catalyst for change to Shawnee Co.’s COVID-19 Incident Command.

Shawnee Co. Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to approve a resolution to make changes.

“As we see that the pandemic numbers are continuing to decline, we’re reevaluating our reserves and our services and really refocusing that emergency management will go back to focus on emergency management items,” Commissioner Kevin Cook told 13 NEWS.

“What we’re really seeing is that pandemic response scaling down.”

Incident Commander Dusty Nichols said the team is shifting its responsibilities to a pre-pandemic level.

“To be more efficient in our resources and responsibilities we are starting to do a basically a response and recovery for the COVID which includes after action reporting, getting ready for potential audits and all those kinds of things,” he said.

“Between now and August we’ll be doing a lot of reports after action reviews, improvement planning, those kinds of things on how our response went and how we can improve.”

Nichols said since the pandemic is not over, it is important to continue following safety procedures.

“We just need to keep our community going in being safe to get the vaccines,” he said.

“If you have events, plan them accordingly and always as we’ve always said do a personal risk assessment, if you don’t feel safe and don’t go for whatever reason.”

However, Cook said protocol is in place in case there is another wave of COVID-19 cases.

“Shawnee County’s always gonna be here to respond to an emergency and present themselves,” he said.

“Obviously, we would reevaluate our services as if the numbers change our impacts going gonna change and so our response is gonna change.”

Commissioners also approved for the Health Department to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Redbud Pavillion on June 4 from 4-7 pm where the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be administered.