A bill that has passed out of the Kansas Senate would strip local health departments of their power to quarantine or isolate infected people.

It would also no longer require schools to report infectious diseases. Pottawatomie County Health Department Director Leslie Campbell shared concerns about the bill Monday with commissioners.

      0228-Campbell why

The bill did not receive enough votes to be veto-proof. While it limits power of local health departments, those officials would still be able to make recommendations. Commissioner Pat Weixelman.

      0228-Weixelman Stupid Pill

Campbell says she has written a letter to Sen. Dennis Pyle expressing her concern.

Pottawatomie County is currently seeing a high number of chicken pox cases as well as a high level of COVID, though flu cases are low.

Commissioners also on Monday gave approval for the Health Department to be a host site for a public health associate from the Centers for Disease Control.

Campbell says it’s not clear if Pottawatomie County will be selected, but the agency is looking for rural communities to fill in gaps with different activities.

      0227-Campbell 1

The county would bear no cost to have the CDC representative on site. Commissioner Weixelman had reservations about such a program.

      0227-Weixelman 1

Weixelman initially voted no, but changed his vote expressing a desire for the potential CDC rep to be focused on opioid prevention and education.