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With rumors running rampant, the City-Cowley County Health Department has created a “rumor control” webpage to help people sort out fact from fiction when it comes to local coronavirus-related information.

The department is urging residents to don’t believe rumors, don’t pass them along and go to trusted news sources for the local, state, and federal response.

It mentioned, or state and local government’s official websites or social media.

The following myth vs. facts list was current as of Tuesday night.

Myth: The National Guard has been activated to help police the population and enforce quarantine.

Truth: The National Guard is working with local, state, and federal governments to help distribute necessary medical equipment and needs to the individual counties.  Those who are a part of the National Guard will be working in civilian clothing and will likely not be distinguishable from the general public. 3/24/20

Myth: Restaurants and retail businesses in Cowley County must close.

Truth: At this time, neither Governor Kelly nor our Public Health Officer have issued any orders to close any local businesses or restaurants. While some have chosen to do so, that was of their own prerogative and they were not ordered to do so. 3/24/2020

Myth: You need a letter or card from your employer to be able to drive to work.

Truth:  At this time, there is no need for any form of approval from local or state governments or your employer to drive to work or anywhere else in Cowley County. 3/24/2020

Myth: Cowley County WIC offices are preparing to close and it is important to use your benefits prior to the closure or risk losing them.

Truth:  Some WIC offices in Sedgwick County (and perhaps other locations throughout the state) have consolidated to one main office during this time to try to control the spread of coronavirus. At this time, there is no plan for the WIC offices in Cowley County to close. We are adjusting the appointment schedules to limit the number of people in our waiting areas, but benefits are continuing as they normally would and there is no need to use up your benefits as soon as possible.  They are not being taken away. 3/24/2020

Myth: There have been confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Cowley County, but we are not sharing that information with the public.

Truth: At this time, there are no confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Cowley County. 3/24/2020

Myth: The Summit Street bridge in Arkansas City is closing temporarily in response to the potential for a coronavirus outbreak.

Truth: There is no reason to close the bridge. There are no plans to close that or any other bridges in Cowley County as a response to coronavirus. 3/24/2020

Myth: The Public Health Officer is prohibiting travel between Kay County, Oklahoma and Cowley County.

Truth: The Public Health Officer is concerned about travel between Kay County and Cowley County. He is aware that many people live in one county, but work in the other. That is part of normal, day to day business. The concern is in those who are voluntarily making visits from one county to the other for leisure activities such as shopping and visiting friends/family. Since the number of confirmed cases of COVID 19 is rising in Kay County, there is also an increased chance of person to person spread (meaning it was not a result of recent travel or other risk factors) of the illness. In an effort to reduce that possibility, our Public Health Officer is asking those who do not have to travel for work or medical reasons to please stay home so we can continue to keep the illness from spreading.  3/24/2020

Myth:  If I need a mask to protect others when I have to go out but am ill, I can go to the hospital and they will provide me with one.

Truth: The hospitals, as well as other health care facilities, are facing potential shortages in personal protective equipment (this includes masks) for their clinical needs. They do not have spare materials to share with the general public. If you are ill, we advise you to stay home and isolate yourself as much as possible. If you have to go to a pharmacy or physician’s office, call ahead and inform them of your illness. They will advise you of the best precautions to take. Many pharmacies are now using drive up windows almost exclusively.  3/24/2020

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