Unified Command team will transition to Recovery Coordination Team next week; COVID-19 cases increase to 63

photo by: Orlin Wagner/Associated Press

Medical personnel conduct coronavirus testing at LMH Health in Lawrence on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

Unified Command, the team responsible for Douglas County’s COVID-19 pandemic response, will transition into the COVID-19 Recovery Coordination Team next week.

The transition will take place on Friday, May 29, according to a news release from Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

“We believe this collaborative leadership structure has paid dividends, and we are looking to expand that because it will continue to take an intensive community effort to keep the virus at bay and manage the recovery so life can return to normal as safely as possible,” City Manager Craig Owens said in the release.

The COVID-19 Recovery Coordination Team will include the original Unified Command leadership team of Owens, Douglas County Administrator Sarah Plinsky, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health Director Dan Partridge and LMH Health President and CEO Russ Johnson. Bonnie Lowe, president and CEO of The Chamber of Lawrence, Lawrence Superintendent Anthony Lewis, University of Kansas Chancellor Douglas Girod and Dr. Thomas Marcellino, Douglas County’s health officer, will join the team.

The Recovery Coordination Team will focus on economic recovery, health and medical services, housing and human services, and education.

“This will continue to be an active effort mobilized in many areas to both work to help the community continue to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 and support those various recovery functions that will be so important in coming months,” said Robert Bieniecki, director of Douglas County Emergency Management.

The recovery team will also include a group of equity impact advisers appointed to help focus on equity as part of the recovery, the release stated.

Douglas County reported 63 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, local officials said, an increase of one case from Thursday.

In Douglas County, 54 out of the 63 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 have recovered, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health said in its daily update.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s online map noted that 2,442 Douglas County residents have been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 20.0.

No patients at Lawrence’s hospital had COVID-19 on Friday, according to a release from LMH Health.

More coverage: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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