COVID-19 Updates

Stay Updated on News About the Coronavirus in Merriam and Johnson County

We will frequently update this page on news specific to the City of Merriam and the services we provide, including information about cancellations and closures.

You also can find some Johnson County and Shawnee Mission School District news that is helpful to you, our residents. We have included a list of reputable national, state, and county resources about COVID-19.

What to Do If You Think You Have COVID-19

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said you should contact your primary doctor by phone and talk to them about your symptoms. 

If you do not have a primary doctor or have additional questions, please call the Johnson County Hotline at 913-715-2819. Nurses will answer your questions about the coronavirus from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

You can also call the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment at 913-477-8343 during regular business hours or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 877-427-7317 after business hours.

Schedule a free COVID-19 test if you live or work in Johnson County.


October 16, 2020

Mask Mandate Continues in Johnson County

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners didn’t bring up a vote to overturn Gov. Laura Kelly’s state of disaster declaration order at its Oct. 15 meeting.

This means the state’s face mask mandate remains in effect through Nov. 15. 


Free COVID-19 Testing Tomorrow, Oct. 17

You can get free COVID-19 testing from 9 a.m.to noon on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 407 S. Clairborne Road, Suite 2 in Olathe. Registration is required. The test is open to anyone age 12 and older.

The drive-thru testing clinic is in partnership with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and the Mid-America Regional Council.

Call 913-648-2266 to reserve your spot. Find other testing opportunities.

 

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Oct. 16, there are 70,855 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 107 years old and the median age is 36. In Kansas, 859 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 12,744 positive cases of COVID-19 and 173 deaths.


October 13, 2020

JCCC Offering Free Skills Training for Eligible JoCo Residents

Johnson County residents impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible to receive free or reduced-cost job training or skill-building at the Johnson County Community College.

Funded by the CARES Act, the JCCC will support residents as they build skills to grow in their careers. There are more than 350 training courses to choose from, including but not limited to:

  • Automotive
  • Business and leadership
  • Construction
  • Data management
  • Digital marketing
  • Early childhood education
  • Finance
  • HR management
  • Healthcare programs
  • HVAC
  • Sign language and English as a second language.

You must complete the training by the end of the year. Find qualification requirements and an application here.

 

Election Office Adds Advance Voting Locations

The Johnson County Election Office will open three additional advance voting sites for the November general election. The Election Office will now have 10 locations across the county.

Advanced voting starts Saturday, Oct. 17. Find more information about advanced voting, including hours and locations at jocoelection.org.


October 12, 2020

County Election Office Receives Grant for Voter Safety

The Johnson County Election Office received more than $855,000 to help administer the General Election next month during the COVID-19 pandemic. The grant is from the Center for Tech and Civic Life.

The money will go toward expanding and promoting advanced voting, installing and securing ballot return mailboxes, purchasing equipment for processing mail ballots, and increasing election workers’ pay.

 

For more information about elections in Johnson County, visit jocoelection.org. You can check your voter registration, learn more about advance voting options, find your polling location, and more. The deadline to register to vote in the upcoming election is Oct. 13. Election Day is Nov. 3

October 9, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Oct. 9, there are 65,807 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 107 years old and the median age is 36. In Kansas, 763 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 11,992 positive cases of COVID-19 and 163 deaths.


October 8, 2020

State of Disaster Declaration Extended to Nov. 15

The State Finance Council approved Gov. Laura Kelly’s request to extend her state of disaster declaration to Nov. 15. The declaration was set to expire on Oct. 15. 

The state of disaster declaration is needed to receive federal support for personal protective equipment, testing kits, and housing for those affected by COVID-19.

The declaration also means the mask mandate remains in effect through Nov. 15 unless the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners votes to overturn the order.


October 7, 2020

$35 Million COVID-19 Relief Funds to be Invested in JoCo

Johnston County will give more than $35 million in Cornoavirus Relieve Funds to reinvest in the community through six priority areas, including: 

  • Mental health 
  • Aging 
  • Housing 
  • Workforce development 
  • Small business support 
  • Digital access 

This is the second of three phases. Find more information about the application process.


Gov. Laura Kelly Looks to Extend State of Disaster Declaration

Gov. Laura Kelly will ask the State Finance Council to extend her state of disaster declaration to Nov. 15. It’s currently set to expire Oct. 15. 

Kelly’s scheduled to request the declaration extension during the Council’s next meeting at 2 p.m. today.


October 6, 2020

JoCo Updates COVID-19 Dashboard

Johnson County’s COVID-19 Dashboard – that details important data points – includes new information specific to the county.

The updated dashboard now has a Cumulative Summary tab to show positive and negative tests similar to what KDHE tracks and a Testing & Percent Positive Rates tab to show the number of positive tests, negative tests, and repeat negative tests by date. 

The dashboard also includes a Weekly Charts tab to summarize key metrics by week and a Schools tab to replace the previous gating criteria tab. 


October 5, 2020

It’s OK if You’re Not OK - Podcast

The Johnson County Mental Health Center recently released a podcast episode focused on understanding mental health needs during the pandemic.

Listen to the podcast.

 

Children’s Mercy Hospital Releases Information on Halloween Safety

Halloween’s almost here, but should you trick-or-treat? Children’s Mercy Hospital put out a guide for safer Halloween celebrations.

You can also view holiday guidance from the CDC.


$2.5 Million in Regional Aid to Help Those Affected by COVID-19

The Mid-American Regional Council, area counties (including Johnson County), and five philanthropic foundations have joined forces to help address COVID-19 related needs.

The groups have committed about $2.5 million to:

  • Increase the region's testing capacity.
  • Enhance COVID-19 health and medical data.
  • Support community organizations to help residents who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19.

Learn more about regional efforts to address COVID-19.


October 2, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Oct. 2, there are 61,111 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 107 years old and the median age is 35. In Kansas, 698 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 11,353 positive cases of COVID-19 and 156 deaths.


Lost Wages Assistance Program Payments Starting

The Kansas Department of Labor is now accepting eligible unemployed workers under the Lost Wages Assistance Program.

To be eligible, a person must self-certify that his or her unemployment or partial unemployment is due to COVID-19. If accepted into the program, the person will receive weekly payments as long as he or she remains eligible and funds are available.

Read more information here.


October 1, 2020

REAL ID Deadline Extended

Due to COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security extended REAL ID enforcement by one year. 


Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States.


September 28, 2020

Driver’s License Renewal Deadlines Extended

Gov. Laura Kelly recently ordered an extension for drivers’ licenses renewals through Jan. 26, 2021. Now any Kansan with a state driver’s license that expired or will expire – from March 12, 2020, through Jan. 26, 2021 – won’t be penalized.

The order also set a staggered deadline for vehicle registrations depending on when a vehicle was purchased.


September 25, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Sept. 25, there are 56,592 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 107 years old and the median age is 35. In Kansas, 632 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 10,699 positive cases of COVID-19 and 146 deaths.


September 22, 2020

Free Same Day COVID-19 Testing Now Available

Johnson County residents ages five and older can now get free same-day testing in Olathe. 

Residents – and those who work in Johnson County, ages 16 and older – with or without symptoms can schedule an appointment. No doctor note is needed.

Learn more and schedule an appointment.


September 18, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Sept. 18, there are 52,285 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 106 years old and the median age is 35. In Kansas, 596 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 9,879 positive cases of COVID-19 and 141 deaths.


September 17, 2020

JoCo BOCC Votes to Extend Mask Mandate

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners met today to consider the mask order at its regular business session. More than 50 members of the public spoke both for and against the mask mandate. 

State lawmakers recently extended Gov. Laura Kelly’s COVID-19 emergency declaration for 30 days, and this included a mask order for all Kansans. After more than three hours, the County Commissioners voted 4-3 to reaffirm Kelly’s statewide mask order and continue requiring residents to wear face masks in public.


September 15, 2020

State’s Mask Order in Effect Through Oct. 15 

Because lawmakers extended Gov. Laura Kelly’s COVID-19 emergency declaration for 30 days, the state’s mask order remains in effect in Kansas and Johnson County through Oct. 15.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners will have an agenda item to consider the mask order at its regular business session on Sept. 17 at 9:30 a.m. 


September 14, 2020

State’s COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Extended 

Kansas lawmakers extended Gov. Laura Kelly’s COVID-19 emergency declaration for 30 days. The declaration included a clause that Kelly wouldn’t close businesses during the extension.

The state’s existing emergency declaration expires tomorrow, Sept. 15. It now extends to Oct. 15. 


September 11, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Sept. 11, there are 48,386 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 106 years old and the median age is 35. In Kansas, 511 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 9,154 positive cases of COVID-19 and 128 deaths.


KDHE Removes Aruba from Travel Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment removed Aruba from its self-quarantine list. Those who traveled to Aruba between Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 will still need to quarantine for 14 days.

KDHE also removed mandatory self-quarantines for those who travel out of state to attend mass gatherings with 500 or more people, provided they wear masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distancing.

Read more about the amended travel quarantine list.


September 10, 2020

Motor Vehicle Offices Now Closed on Mondays

Starting Sept. 14, the Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices in Olathe and Mission will be closed to the public on Mondays so staff can focus on its drop off services.

The new service began in April in response to COVID-19, but it has caused a backlog due to offices being closed for more than a month this past spring.

Staff will be available by phone on Mondays to support residents. Find more information here.


Health Experts: Anyone Exposed to COVID-19 Should Get Tested

Local health experts are urging anyone who’s been exposed to COVID-19 to get tested even if they don’t have any symptoms. 

The KC metro health directors issued the statement after the CDC modified its coronavirus testing guidelines.

Even if you test negative, the health experts said you should self-quarantine for 14 days after exposure as it can take that long for symptoms to appear.

 

Kansas Will Receive $63 Million to Help with Unemployment Benefits

FEMA is giving the state of Kansas $63 million to help Kansans who lost their job due to COVID-19.

Due to federal restrictions, the money will only go to those who receive less than $100 in unemployment benefits and who can “self-certify” that their unemployment is due to COVID-19. 

The Lost Wages Assistance program will start in late September or early October. Payments will be retroactive to the beginning of August and will remain in effect until FEMA ends the program.


September 9, 2020

Schools to Have Access to Saliva Tests

Johnson County schools will soon have access to thousands of saliva tests to have “on-demand” testing and monitor COVID-19 in students, teachers, and staff.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is working with school districts to determine how to distribute the tests. 

Read more about the saliva tests.

 

New Restaurant and Bar Guidelines

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment recently released new guidelines for restaurants and bars to help them stay safe and remain open.

The guidelines discuss what employers should do if a worker tests positive for COVID-19. It also outlines establishments that have the highest and lowest risk for spreading COVID-19. 

  

Kansas to Start Identifying Active COVID-19 Outbreaks

Starting today, state officials are releasing names and locations of active COVID-19 outbreaks in Kansas.

Five or more confirmed cases linked with a location are considered outbreaks. For private businesses, the business name will only be released if there are 20 or more active cases. 

Officials will release the information here each Wednesday.


September 4, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Sept. 4, there are 45,220 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 106 years old and the median age is 35. In Kansas, 481 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 8,522 positive cases of COVID-19 and 120 deaths.


September 2, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Sept. 2, there are 43,940 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 106 years old and the median age is 36. In Kansas, 458 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 8,425 positive cases of COVID-19 and 118 deaths.


August 28, 2020

Aruba Added to State of Kansas Self-Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added Aruba its travel self-quarantine list. Anyone who traveled to the country on or after Aug. 27 will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone who's traveled for a mass gathering event of more than 500 people on or after Aug. 11 will also need to self-quarantine for two weeks.

KDHE's international travel list remains the same. KDHE will now regularly update its travel guidelines. View the complete list here.

 

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Aug. 28, there are 41,048 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 106 years old and the median age is 36. In Kansas, 443 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 7,796 positive cases of COVID-19 and 116 deaths.


August 26, 2020

KDHE Releases School Gating Data

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment recently released information about school gating criteria.

The data is meant to guide local health departments and school districts to make better-informed decisions related to schools reopening this year.

The metrics include trends in incidence rates, two-week cumulative incidence rates, two-week percent positive case rates, and school absenteeism.

View the school gating metrics.


Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment in Olathe

Many appointments are available this week for free appointment-based COVID-19 drive-thru testing in Olathe! 

Schedule an appointment Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-7 p.m.


August 21, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Aug. 21, there are 36,856 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is zero to 106 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 419 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 6,930 positive cases of COVID-19 and 110 deaths.


Children's Mercy Releases Guide About Returning to School Safely

Children's Mercy Kansas City released recommendations about reopening schools safely.

The guidebook talks about staff and student screenings, bus transportation, classroom distancing, ventilation, cleaning procedures, and mental health services.


August 20, 2020

Three Special Events in Merriam Canceled Due to COVID-19

Three of our larger special events are now canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic: Merriam Drive Live and the Merriam Drive Live 5K Run/Walk scheduled Oct. 3 at Merriam Marketplace and the Fall Recycling Event scheduled Oct. 17 at the former Kmart parking lot.

The City will still have its Large-Item Pickup event Oct. 19-23. For those who want to recycle, please visit recyclespot.org. You’ll find a list of accepted recycling items and where to drop them off.

We plan to bring back all our special events bigger and better next year. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Find an updated list of City cancellations here.


August 19, 2020

SMSD to Start School Year Virtually

The Shawnee Mission School District will start the school year with remote learning for all students, and all activities and sports are suspended.

School leaders said the decision is in line with guidance from the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

Read the full announcement.


More Relief on the Way for Small Business Owners

Starting today at noon, Kansas business owners with fewer than 500 employees can apply for more than $130 million in grants. The Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) grants are to support small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Find the application portal for the SPARK grant program here.


Regional Hospital Data Now Online

The Mid-American Regional Council this week made hospital data from the Kansas City metro area available to the public.

The data includes the availability of inpatient beds, ICU beds, and ventilators. MARC will update the data Monday through Friday here.


August 18, 2020

Gov. Kelly Signs Order to Temporarily Stop Evictions and Foreclosures

Kansas families who miss a mortgage or rent payment due to lost wages will have a short relief period.

Gov. Laura Kelly recently signed an executive order to temporarily prohibit housing foreclosures or residential evictions through Sept. 15.

This order is similar to the statewide mandate Kelly issued in March and had expired in May.


8 Coronavirus Myths - Kansas City Star

Months after COVID-19 hit the metro region, the Kansas City Star released the top eight myths about the pandemic.

Read the top eight COVID-19 myths.


August 17, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Aug. 17, there are 35,167 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 405 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 6,508 positive cases of COVID-19 and 108 deaths.


JCDHE Creates Guidance for Employers

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment created a new guide for employers whose employees test positive for COVID-19.

View the guide.

The guide talks about contract tracing and when a COVID-19 positive employee can return to work. It also includes letters to send to high-risk and low-risk exposed employees and steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at work.


New Guidelines for State's Travel Quarantine List; Florida Off List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has amended its travel quarantine list

KDHE removed Florida from its list, though, anyone who traveled to or from Florida between June 29 and Aug. 11 will need to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone who's traveled for a mass gathering event of more than 500 people on our after Aug. 11 will also need to self-quarantine for two weeks.

KDHE's international travel list remains the same. KDHE will now regularly update its travel guidelines. View the complete list here.


COVID-19 Testing Expanded in Johnson County

Starting today, you can now sign up for drive-thru testing by appointment in the afternoon and evenings. New testing times at the Olathe Healthy Services Building (11875 S. Sunset Drive):

  • Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3-7 p.m.

Testing is for Johnson County residents age five and older or for those who work in Johnson County and are at least 16 years old. You can get tested with or without symptoms.

Schedule a COVID-19 test.


August 12, 2020

Upcoming Event Cancellations in Merriam

Due to COVID-19, several of our special events and programs were canceled after we published our most recent issue of Highlights and Recreation. 

View the Fall 2020 online. Please view an updated cancellation list below:

Canceled Special Events 

  • Sept. 12: Turkey Creek Car & Motorcycle Show 
  • Oct. 2: Family Game Night 
  • Oct. 3: Merriam Drive Live 
  • Oct. 6: National Night Out 
  • Oct. 24: Halloween Happenings

Tim Murphy Art Gallery                                                                                          

  • The Art Gallery is open, but all opening night receptions are canceled through the rest of the year.
  • The 24th Annual High School Visual Arts Competition awards ceremony will be held virtually this year.

Canceled MCC Educational Programs                                                             

  • Sept. 10: Bingo

Canceled MCC Fitness Programs                                                                                                               

  • Aug. 31-Dec. 14: Adult Basketball                                                                
  • Aug. 31-Dec. 16: Youth Martial Arts                                                             
  • Sept. 2-Dec. 18: High School Basketball


August 11, 2020

Free PPE Supplies for All Johnson County Businesses, Organizations

All businesses and organizations in Johnson County can now get a free supply of personal protective equipment.

Check out more details and request items online at jocogov.org/ppe.


Free Sign Designs for Businesses and Organizations

Johnson County created signs for businesses and organizations to put on their doors and other locations that can be used to help people determine if they should or shouldn’t enter a building.

Signs include “Please Wear a Mask,” “Mask Required to Enter,” and “Stop and Read Before Entering.”

View and download the signs here.


August 10, 2020

How Does COVID-19 Impact You? JoCo Looking to Invest in Community

Johnson County has about $30 million in COVID-10 relief funds to invest in our community.

The county wants to understand how COVID-19 has impacted residents, businesses, and organizations to distribute the money in six key areas: 

  • Mental health 
  • Aging 
  • Housing 
  • Small business assistance 
  • Workforce development 
  • Digital access.

To better understand this impact, Johnson County wants you to take the survey below to share your story of how you are coping with COVID-19 or what you’ve been struggling with during the pandemic. 

Take the survey. En Español

The survey deadline is Aug. 21. Johnson County will distribute the $30 million by the end of the year.


New COVID-19 Scams

Watch out! New COVID-19 scams are making the rounds.

In one scam, a caller is offering COVID-19 tests to Medicare beneficiaries in exchange for personal details, including Medicare information. 

In a second scam, a caller is trying to tell you that you’ve been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive for COVID-19. The caller is trying to get your credit card information so they can send you a $50 test kit and results. The caller says there are penalties if you don’t comply. 

Project yourself from these scams. Be suspicious of any unexpected calls or visitors offering COVID-19 tests or supplies. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.  Legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your Medicare number or financial information. Find more information on how you can protect yourself here and here.


August 7, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of Aug. 7, there are 30,638 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 380 people have died from COVID-19. 

Johnson County has 5,522 positive cases of COVID-19 and 102 deaths.


Children Ages 5-15 Can Now Get Free COVID-19 Testing

Starting Monday, Aug. 10, Johnson County will allow children age five to 15 to get free COVID-19 testing by appointment. This is for kids who live in Johnson County and where testing isn’t available through their primary health care provider.

Testing involves using a swab to take a sample from inside their nose. Results take five to seven business days. Schedule an appointment.

 

No Yard Waste Collection for Waste Management Customers 

Waste Management has temporarily suspended yard waste collection due to COVID-19. Starting Monday, Aug. 10, it will no longer collect yard waste from its customers.

The company said it expects to resume yard waste collection services after Labor Day.


August 4, 2020

Johnson County Releases COVID-19 Safety Guidelines for Businesses, Childcare Centers

Johnson County released new guidelines to reflect health officials’ current understanding of COVID-19 and how to prevent its spread in the workplace and childcare facilities. As new evidence emerges, this guidance will continue to change. 

View the guide for employers.                                                                           View the guide for childcare centers; childcare home providers.


Johnson County Releases Testing Results from July 24 

Johnson County reported 37 positive COVID-19 tests from its July 24 drive-thru clinic at Shawnee Mission North High School. Health officials tested 566 Johnson County residents.

JCDHE offered free COVID-19 testing for residents age 12 or older with or without symptoms by appointment.

Residents with or without symptoms can schedule a COVID-19 test here.


July 31, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of July 31, there are 27,812 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 358 people have died from COVID-19. 

Johnson County has 4,869 positive cases of COVID-19 and 98 deaths.


PPE Available for Community Organizations

Johnson County has a supply of personal protective equipment to give to essential organizations in the county.

Eligible organizations include:

  • Restaurants 
  • Grocery stores 
  • Food distribution  
  • Health & medical  
  • Transportation  
  • Utility workers (water, electric, cable, etc.)  
  • Other essential infrastructure, manufacturing, distribution, shipping, etc.  
  • Local government essential functions  
  • Schools, educational organizations, and licensed child care providers  
  • Faith-based organizations 

 Fill out a PPE request form.


July 30, 2020

TODAY: JCDHE to Host Virtual Town Hall About Reopening Schools

Public health experts from Johnson County will address concerns and answer questions from parents and others at a virtual town hall today at 5:30 p.m. 

Questions about specific schools and school districts won’t be addressed, but they will talk about reopening criteria.

You can view the forum on Facebook or watch it live on the Johnson County website.


July 29, 2020

JoCo Health Officials Make Recommendations for Reopening Schools

School officials joined the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to create recommendations for when students can safely return to schools. The group created learning modes to determine when students in K-12 should be in school or be taught online based on COVID-19 transmissions in the county.

The group will meet again the week of Aug. 17 to review COVID-19 data in the county and make final recommendations about the 2020-2021 school year.

Read the school reopening and learning modes recommendations.


JoCo Now Emailing Negative COVID-19 Test Results 

No more waiting for snail mail to get COVID-19 test results if you attend one of the county’s free drive-thru test clinics. The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is now sending negative test results by email.

JCDHE will continue to contact those who test positive by phone to begin the contract tracing process.

You can still book an appointment with JCDHE to take a free COVID-19 test.


Florida Remains on State’s Travel Quarantine List

Traveling to Florida? Be prepared to self-quarantine for two weeks when you get back to Kansas. The sunshine state remains on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment travel quarantine list.

Those who visited Florida on or after June 29 need to self-quarantine for two weeks. Anyone who’s traveled to Arizona between June 17 and July 27 must also quarantine.

KDHE’s international travel list includes countries on the CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, including China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Brazil. Anyone who traveled to these countries on or after July 14 must follow CDC rules.

View the complete list here.


July 28, 2020

State Could Return to Phase 2 of Ad Astra Reopening Plan

Gov. Laura Kelly said she’ll recommend returning to Phase 2 of her Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas if positive cases of COVID-19 continue to increase. 

At a press briefing on July 27, Kelly said the numbers are at an all-time high with more than 400 new cases in the Kansas City metro region four days in a row.

Phase 2 means mass gatherings are limited to 15 people and bars and night clubs would close. It also brings into question what would happen with public schools opening this year.

Watch Kelly’s press briefing.


Core 4 Health Officials Said We’re Losing COVID-19 Battle; Urge Residents to Wear Masks

Health leaders from the Kansas City region Core 4 jurisdictions of Kansas City and Jackson County in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas released a letter to community residents urging them to act quickly to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of new cases across the entire metropolitan area, and our front-line workers are having difficulty keeping up with the vast and increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases,” the health officials said in the letter. 

The health leaders said the mask-wearing mandates are “extremely important” to flatten the curve, and that if residents don’t act on this, future shutdowns will be likely.

Read the health leaders’ letter to residents.


July 24, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of July 24, there are 25,109 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 326 people have died from COVID-19. 

Johnson County has 4,280 positive cases of COVID-19 and 96 deaths.


July 23, 2020

Shawnee Mission School District Will Start School After Labor Day

Shawnee Mission students will return to school after Labor Day, but what the first day looks like remains to be seen.

Shawnee Mission School District leaders are determining what the first days of school will look like, including in-person and remote options, and will bring recommended calendar changes to the next Board of Education meeting on July 27.

Read the July 22 special board meeting recap.


Pick Up and Go Meals to Continue Through Aug. 21

The Shawnee Mission School District will continue to provide free meals through Aug. 21 for any child ages 1-18.

The Pick Up and Go Meals are provided on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at these locations:

  • Comanche Elementary, 8200 Grant St., Overland Park
  • Rosehill Elementary, 9801 Rosehill, Lenexa
  • Shawanoe Elementary, 11230 W. 75th St., Shawnee
  • Hocker Grove Middle School, 10400 Johnson Drive, Shawnee

Find more information here.


WaterOne to Resume Disconnect Service for Non-Payment Next Month

WaterOne will disconnect water service for customers due to non-payment starting in August. This comes after a four-month pause on service disconnections due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Customers who are continuing to experience financial difficulty should contact WaterOne’s Customer Care to work out extended payment arrangements. You can call WaterOne at 913-895-1800 or by email WaterOneCustomerService@waterone.org from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Find more information here.


July 22, 2020

Kansas Board of Education Rejects Governor’s Order to Delay Schools

The Kansas Board of Education today rejected an order by Gov. Laura Kelly to delay the start of school through Sept. 8. Kelly ordered the delay on July 20 to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

The decision leaves local school districts to decide how and when to reopen, which could lead to multiple reopening dates across the state.


COVID-19 Safety Rules Once Schools Are in Session

Gov. Laura Kelly signed an executive order on July 20 that outlines safety procedures for Kansas students and teachers once in-person learning begins.

The order mandates face masks for all students age five and older, teachers, staff, and visitors attending public or private K-12 school buildings. There are exceptions for people with certain conditions. 

The order also requires hand sanitizer in all classrooms and temperature checks before entering any school facility.


July 21, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing Near Merriam on Friday

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is offering free COVID-19 testing on Friday, July 24. 

This testing is for anyone 12 and older, with or without symptoms who live or work in Johnson County.

The testing site is at Shawnee Mission North High School (7401 Johnson Drive) and will be from 8-11 a.m. by appointment only. Schedule an appointment

Those who get tested should remain in their vehicles with windows rolled up until it’s time for their test. Testing involves using a swab to take a sample from inside the nose.


July 17, 2020

COVID-19 by the Numbers

As of July 17, there are 21,965 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 299 people have died from COVID-19.

Johnson County has 3,559 positive cases of COVID-19 and 95 deaths.


July 15, 2020

Kansas Schools Won’t Open Until After Labor Day

Gov. Laura Kelly today said she plans to issue an executive order to delay the first day of school until after Labor Day. Schools were scheduled to open in August.

The Kansas Board of Education will need to vote to approve the order to delay the start of school.

The Board of Education published a 1,081-page reopening guideline before Kelly’s order that outlined school learning and safety recommendations, including the use of masks, physical distancing, and temperature checks.


Turkey Creek Car & Motorcycle Show, Cruise Night Canceled

The City of Merriam made the hard decision to cancel both our popular Turkey Creek Car & Motorcycle Show and Cruise Night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are unable to guarantee physical distancing during these events, and the health and safety of our community and staff continue to be our top priority.

The state of Kansas and Johnson County continue to see increased cases of COVID-19. We feel it’s necessary to cancel based on the guidance we received from local health professionals.

We plan to bring back both events next year bigger and better than ever. Thank you for your understanding.


CDC Adds Three New Symptoms of Coronavirus

Add congestion or a runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea to the growing list of COVID-19 symptoms. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people with these symptoms may have COVID-19. Other possible signs of the coronavirus include:

  • Chills or fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat 
  • A new loss of taste or smell

The CDC said this doesn’t include all possible symptoms, but it will continue to update this list as health officials learn more about COVID-19. The CDC said symptoms usually happen 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.


July 14, 2020

Three States Removed from Travel Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment removed Alabama, Arkansas, and South Carolina from its travel self-quarantine list.

Arizona and Florida continue to be on the quarantine list. Anyone who’s traveled to Arizona on or after June 17 or Florida on or after June 29 should self-quarantine for two weeks.

KDHE changed its international travel list to include Bahrain, French Guiana, and countries on the CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, including China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, and Brazil. Anyone who traveled to these countries on or after July 14 must follow CDC rules.

View the complete list here.


CDC Releases Guidelines on Social Gatherings

Summer is the time for cookouts and get-togethers with friends and family, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • Remind guests to stay home if they’re sick.
  • Encourage physical distancing.
  • Have guests wear face masks.
  • Cleans hands often.
  • Limit who handles or serves food.
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items.

If you are attending a social gathering, ask what extra safety precautions your hosts are taking during this pandemic.

Find more guidance about social activities here.


July 10, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of July 10, there are 18,611 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 37. In Kansas, 284 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 2,804 positive cases of COVID-19 and 92 deaths.


July 9, 2020

Johnson County Releases Testing Results from June 26

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Sanmi Areola today reported 25 positive COVID-19 tests from its latest drive-thru clinic. Health officials tested 986 Johnson County residents on June 26.

JCDHE offered free COVID-19 testing for residents age 12 or older with or without symptoms.

View the complete report.

The next no-appointment drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is tomorrow, July 10 in Gardner. Find more information here.


July 7, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing Friday in Gardner

Head to Gardner, Kansas, on Friday for free COVID-19 testing. No appointment needed.

This testing is for anyone with or without symptoms who lives or works in Johnson County. You must be 12 years old or older.

The testing site is at Garner Edgerton High School (425 Waverly Road) and will be from 8-11 a.m., or until supplies run out.

Traffic should enter the testing clinic off S. Waverly Road, just south of W. Madison St. Those getting tested should remain in their vehicles with windows rolled up until it’s time for their test. Testing involves using a swab to take a sample from inside the nose.


Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment in Olathe

Free COVID-19 testing by appointment is available to those with or without symptoms in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive).

Testing is available at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and 4-7 p.m. every Tuesday. You can also get tested 8 a.m.-1 p.m. every other Friday starting July 17.

Make an appointment.

 

Kansans Traveling to New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut Must Self-Quarantine

Traveling to the east coast? You’ll need to self-quarantine for two weeks once you get to New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases here in the sunflower state.

Kansas is one of 19 states on its travel quarantine list.


July 6, 2020

Gov. Kelly Recommends Staying in Phase 3

On Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly – on advice from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment – said she recommends the state continue to stay in Phase 3 of her Ad Astra reopening plan due to the increased spread of COVID-19.

“Kansas is at a make it or break it moment, so let’s do the right and the smart thing,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said you should continue to wear face masks and added that masks, good hygiene, and social distancing are the best defenses against COVID-19. She said it’s your responsibility to step up and keep your loved ones healthy and keep businesses open. 

Watch her press briefing.


Hotline Number to Report Face Mask Violations

Johnson County officials launched a hotline for anyone who wants to report a face mask violation. You can call the District Attorney’s Consumer Fraud Hotline at 913-715-3003. You shouldn’t call 911 to make a complaint.


July 2, 2020

BOCC Votes to Support Governor’s Executive Order Requiring Masks in Public Spaces

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners today voted to follow Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order requiring masks in public spaces.

The motion passed 4-2 with Commissioners Steven Klika and Mike Brown voting no. Commissioner Michael Ashcraft abstained.

View the BOCC special session.

View Kelly’s executive order.


PPE Available for Essential Workers 

Starting tomorrow, employers at restaurants, grocery stores, health care facilities, transportation, and other essential functions are eligible to receive personal protective equipment for their employees.

PPE equipment includes disposable masks, face shields, and gowns.

Visit jocogov.org/ppe for more information.


Gov. Kelly Issues Executive Order Requiring Masks

Gov. Laura Kelly today issued an executive order requiring most Kansans to wear masks in public spaces and in places where they’re unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing. 

The order starts tomorrow and will remain in place until Kelly ends it or the State of Disaster Emergency expires, whichever is first.

Exceptions are made for children under age five, those with medical conditions, and other situations described in the order. View the executive order.


July 1, 2020

BOCC to Hold Special Meeting Tomorrow Regarding Face Masks

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners is holding a special meeting July 2 at 10 a.m.

The Board is deciding whether to uphold Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide order (to be issued tomorrow) to wear face masks in public buildings and anywhere in which you can’t physically distance 6 feet, including outside.

View the live broadcast at boccmeetings.jocogov.org or on Facebook. Anyone wishing to speak about the agenda item will need to sign in before the meeting starts.


June 30, 2020

July Party in YOUR Park Canceled

Due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases in Johnson County, the City of Merriam has decided to cancel our next Party in YOUR Park event.

The family-friendly program was scheduled to take place at Campbell Park on July 17.


Florida, South Carolina Added to State’s Travel Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added Florida and South Carolina to its travel self-quarantine list. Anyone who’s traveled to these two states on or after June 29 should self-quarantine for two weeks. 

Alabama, Arizona, and Arkansas are still on the quarantine list. Maryland is now off the travel quarantine list. View the complete list here.


Kansans Required to Wear Masks in Public Spaces Starting Friday

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Monday that Kansans must wear a mask in a public space starting Friday, July 3.

You’ll need to wear a mask in stores, restaurants, and anywhere in which you can’t physically distance 6 feet, including outside.

“This is a simple, proactive step we can take to keep Kansans at work, get our kids back to school, and keep ourselves and our neighbors healthy,” Kelly said. “Wearing a mask is not only safe – but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown.”

Kelly said she’ll release more information on Thursday but wanted to give you enough time to get masks needed before she makes her executive order. The order will have exceptions for some who have health issues or disabilities.


June 29, 2020

No Mandate, but JoCo Health Officials “Strongly Urge” Masks

Johnson County isn’t following suit and requiring residents to wear masks like its neighbors Kansas City, Missouri, Jackson County, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, and Kansas City, Kansas.

Johnson County health officers said masks do work, but they’re not requiring people to wear masks right now. 

“We strongly urge residents to wear a mask in all public settings,” a joint statement from regional public health directors reads. 

In a separate statement, Johnson County health officials added, “We will rely on the shared sense of responsibility to ourselves and others and the community as the primary basis for public health response to this pandemic.”

They said local hospitals aren’t overwhelmed at this time, but they will continue to monitor the situation.


June 26, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing Now Available by Appointment

You can now sign up for COVID-19 testing whether you have symptoms or not. Schedule an appointment for free drive-thru testing at the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment in Olathe (11875 S. Sunset Drive).

Residents must be age 12+ (12-15 years old must have a parent present). Free COVID-19 testing starts Tuesday, June 30. Testing involves getting a swab sample inside your nose.

Supplies and appointment times are limited. Find more information and make an appointment here.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 13,538 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 39. In Kansas, 264 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 1,545 positive cases of COVID-19 and 83 deaths.


June 25, 2020

Travel Guidelines

It’s that time of year when you pack up the car or hop on a plane and travel to your favorite destination.

Is it Safe to Travel?                                                                                                                      Traveling does increase your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. The risk is even higher for those with health problems or over the age of 65. The State of Kansas released this travel assessment checklist so you can make the best decision for you.

travel assessment checklist

Check out these CDC travel guidelines


Hotline Available for Kansans Impacted by Double Payment

State officials created a new hotline number and email for Kansans impacted by a duplicate payment from the Kansas Department of Labor.

You can call the Department of Labor at 785-296-5000 for any other questions related to unemployment or visit getkansasbenefits.gov.


June 23, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing on Friday; New Location

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is hosting free, COVID-19 testing on Friday, June 26, for residents with or without symptoms.

County residents age 18 and older can get tested from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., or until supplies run out, at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection (13720 Roe Ave.) in Lenexa. Residents should enter the drive-thru testing clinic off Roe Ave., just south of 135th St. and follow signs to the clinic.

Once you arrive, remain in your vehicle with windows rolled up until it’s time for your test. Testing involves getting a swab sample inside your nose.

This is the department’s seventh community testing event. On June 12, there were 18 positive COVID-19 cases out of 694 people tested.


Merriam Municipal Court Reopens Today

The Merriam Municipal Court is now open for in-person court cases. The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the City that handles all traffic and city ordinance violations.

Things to keep in mind if you have an upcoming court case: 

  • Don’t come to court if you feel sick and have COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, chills, or shortness of breath.
  • Your temperature will be taken before you enter the building.
  • Masks are encouraged; we will have disposable masks available upon request.
  • If possible, please don’t bring any family members to court to avoid the risk of exposure.

If you have further questions, please call Merriam Municipal Court at 913-322-5540 or email court staff at court@merriam.org. Visit merriam.org/court for other municipal court information.


June 22, 2020

Gov. Kelly Recommends Remaining in Phase 3 of Ad Astra Reopening Plan

Gov. Laura Kelly today said she – under the guidance of state health officials – recommends all Kansas communities stay in Phase 3 of her Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.

Phase 3 of the Ad Astra plan recommends gatherings of 45 people or less. Residents are encouraged to wear masks, practice physical distancing of 6 feet or more, wash your hands with soap and water, and avoid touching your face.

Kelly said there are currently eight active clusters associated with large gatherings, and the COVID-19 spread is trending upward.

“I know we are all tired of this. I know we want to get back to normal and spend time with friends and partake in activities and see our families,” Kelly said. “However, we must remain vigilant. The virus is still in our communities, and it is still spreading.”

The governor said until there is a vaccine, people should continue to social distance, wear a mask, and avoid mass gatherings. Kelly said we’re “not out of the woods yet” and that these safety guidelines work to reduce the spread of COVID-19.


Renewing Your Driver’s License Just Got Easier

Gov. Laura Kelly recently signed an executive order to offer temporary relief for Kansans age 50-65 trying to renew their driver’s license. 

Kansas has a law that prohibits applicants 50 years and older from renewing their driver’s license online. Now all drivers under the age of 65 can renew online.

The order is in place through July 31, 2020.


June 19, 2020

Johnson County Releases Testing Results from June 12

Dr. Sanmi Areola, with the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, reported 18 positive COVID-19 tests from its drive-thru clinic on June 12. Health officials tested 694 Johnson County residents last Friday.

JCDHE offered free COVID-19 testing for residents age 18 or older with or without symptoms.

Dr. Areola said the next no-appointment drive-thru testing for COVID-19 is June 26.

View the complete report.


Health Officials Say You’re Wearing Your Gloves Wrong

CDC and Johnson County health officials said you shouldn’t wear gloves to protect yourself from COVID-19.  

They said wearing gloves as a protective measure gives a false sense of security and can lead to increased COVID-19 transmission because people are washing their hands less. This includes restaurant employees wearing gloves when serving customers and grocery store employees who stock shelves or work at a cash register.

They do recommend employees wear gloves similar to before COVID-19 – for handling food, cleaning and disinfecting, and providing health care.

Find more information here.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 12,059 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 40. In Kansas, 254 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 1,229 positive cases of COVID-19 and 77 deaths.


June 18, 2020

State Adds Three States, Takes Off Six on Travel Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added Alabama, Arizona, and Arkansas to its travel self-quarantine list.

Anyone who’s traveled these three states on or after June 17 should self-quarantine for two weeks. Maryland continues to be on the quarantine list.

Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island are now off the travel quarantine list. View the complete travel quarantine list here.


June 17, 2020

Want to Be a Contact Tracer? Johnson County is Hiring

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment received nearly $4.2 million to create 41 part- and full-time positions.

The Board of County Commissioners approved the funds to go toward six full-time epidemiologists, 35 part-time contact tracers, and to continue funding COVID-19 testing.

Contract tracers will connect with Johnson County residents diagnosed with COVID-19. They will collect information and provide diagnosed residents with quarantine procedures and additional resources. They will also interview and monitor people who were in close contact with the diagnosed residents within the past 14 days.

The pay range for contact tracers is between $15-$20, and a high school diploma is required.

Apply here.

The Board expects to be reimbursed with federal funds to help pay for the new positions and COVID-19 testing.


June 16, 2020

AdventHealth Holding PPE Donation Drive

AdventHealth is collecting donated masks, disposable gloves, surgical gowns, and other PPE supplies through July 1.

You can donate items at AdventHealth Centra Care locations in Olathe, Overland Park, and Shawnee.

Several organizations are hosting the COVI19 PPE Drive to support health care workers at long-term care facilities and other community groups serving vulnerable populations.

Call 913-820-4794 with any questions related to this drive.

AH PPE drive flyer


City Reschedules Tree Limb Pickup 

The City of Merriam rescheduled its free, citywide tree limb pickup during the week of July 20-24.

Place your branches curbside by 7 a.m. on Monday, July 20. Public Works crews will collect piles throughout the week.

Crews will collect large tree limbs or brush. Anything smaller than a pencil should be placed in yard waste bags for disposal by your trash collection service.

Public Works won’t pick up building materials, plastic, metal, cardboard, paper, or any other debris. Call them at 913-322-5570 with any questions.


CDC Releases Guidance Now That More People Are Venturing Out 

As more people are getting “COVID-19 fatigue” and interacting with others, know your risk of getting the coronavirus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance for when you decide to go out into your community as youth sports are starting this summer and as more local businesses begin to open to the public. 

The CDC said the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of getting COVID-19 and spreading the disease. 

Before you go out, the CDC suggests you ask yourself:

  • How many people will you interact with?
  • Can you keep 6 feet of space between you and other people?
  • What’s the length of time you will be interacting with other people?

 The CDC said you should also consider:

  • Is COVID-19 spreading in your community?
  • What are your local governments suggesting regarding mass gatherings
  • Will your activity put you in close contact with others?
  • Are you or someone you live with at risk for severe illness if you get the disease?

Check out more CDC guidelines before you decide to go out


June 15, 2020

Voluntary Recommendations and Guidance Regarding COVID-19

Johnson County released a new graphic to show how to follow the state’s Ad Astra reopening guidelines regarding COVID-19. County commissioners voted to follow these recommendations at their meeting last week.

Guidelines of washing hands, physical distancing during COVID-19 Opens in new window


June 12, 2020

Kansas to Launch Statewide COVID-19 Testing Strategy

Gov. Laura Kelly rolled out a new COVID-19 testing strategy on June 11.

Kelly wants to test 60,000 Kansans – about 2% of the state’s population - each month through the end of the year.

Kelly said state labs can now handle the increased number of tests. The testing supplies will come from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

View her press briefing.


Johnson County to Start Following State Guidelines for Reopening Kansas

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted June 11 to now have Johnson County follow the voluntary recommendations and guidance in the state’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas

This includes precautionary measures of washing your hands, staying at home if you are sick, physical distancing from others, and wearing a mask when out in public.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 11,047 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 41. In Kansas, 243 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 1,045 positive cases of COVID-19 and 71 deaths.


June 10, 2020

You Can Now Get Discounted Rates to Join the Merriam Community Center

MCC pool features

The City of Merriam is offering discounted rates for those who sign up to become a Merriam Community Center member by Labor Day 2020.

Due to COVID-19 delays, the indoor pool won’t be complete when the building opens. We’re sad about these delays, but this means you get an extra two months free to use the community center’s other amenities.

Sign up now to become a Charter Member. You can have access to the building beginning June 29, and your membership goes through Labor Day of 2021. You’ll get 14 months for the price of 10!

We’re also reducing monthly memberships by 50% through Labor Day 2020. So, instead of paying $60 for a household membership per month, it would only be $30. An adult would pay $20 per month, and someone under 18 years old would be $15 per month until the indoor pool is complete.

The community center will open to charter members on June 29 and to the public on July 4. Daily passes will be available through Labor Day to Merriam residents only.

Join Now

Merriam Parks and Recreation staff are now at City Hall to help process all memberships. Visit Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to join now as a charter member or become a monthly member.


June 9, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing on Friday

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment is again offering free COVID-19 testing for residents with or without symptoms.

The drive-thru testing for county residents age 18 and older will be this Friday, June 12, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., or until supplies run out. Health officials said they have enough supplies for the first 1,000 residents.

JCDHE will test residents at the College Boulevard Activity Center (11031 S. Valley Road) in Olathe. Residents should enter the testing clinic off of Lone Elm Road and 107th St.

Once you arrive, remain in your vehicle with windows rolled up until it’s time for your test. Testing involves getting a swab sample inside your nose.


June 8, 2020

City of Merriam Parks Open to the Public Today

The City of Merriam opened all parks and playgrounds on June 8.

Please continue your 6 feet of physical distancing, wash your hands regularly before and after playing, and use hand sanitizer.

Play safe and enjoy our parks!


All Johnson County Library Branches Opening June 15

Johnson County Library will reopen all 14 branches to the public Monday, June 15 with limited services.

Officials will announce new hours of operation on Friday, June 12. They anticipate reduced hours to allow staff to sanitize public areas and safely process books and other materials.

You can now return library materials to any library branch location or use one of three drive-thru locations at Blue Valley, Lenexa City Center, and Monticello to pick up books placed on hold.

Find FAQs for branch reopening here.


The CDC Gives Recommendations for Swimming Pool Use

Many community swimming pools are opening today as Gov. Laura Kelly recommends entering Phase 3 of the state’s Ad Astra reopening plan.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread through water used in pools, hot tubs, or splash pads.

The CDC said you should still practice 6 feet of physical distancing from people who don’t live with you when swimming and to wear a face mask when you’re not in the water. The CDC said you shouldn’t use face masks in the water as it can be difficult to breathe through when they get wet.

Find more information here.


June 6, 2020

The City of Merriam Enters Phase 3 on June 8; City Facilities and Playgrounds Open to the Public Monday

The City of Merriam will enter Phase 3 of the state’s Ad Astra reopening plan on Monday, June 8. All City facilities, playgrounds, and sports courts will reopen to the public.

The Irene B. French Community Center will remain closed as the City prepares to open the Merriam Community Center later this month. 

Phase 3 of the Ad Astra plan recommends gatherings of 45 people or less. Residents are encouraged to wear masks inside City buildings and at playgrounds, practice physical distancing of 6 feet or more, use hand sanitizer if unable to wash hands with soap and water, and to avoid touching your face.

Merriam City Council meetings will remain online via Zoom to follow CDC recommendations. Merriam Municipal Court will resume in-person court cases on June 23.


June 5, 2020

Johnson County to Open Parks and Playgrounds June 8

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District is expected to open all parks, facilities, and programs starting Monday, June 8. This includes Antioch Park in Merriam. Find more information here.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 10,393 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 41. In Kansas, 222 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 939 positive cases of COVID-19 and 68 deaths.


June 3, 2020

Evergy Extends Suspension of Disconnects Through July 15

Evergy announced today it will extend its plan to not disconnect electric services for non-payment and will waive late fees for residential and small business customers through July 15.

Customers can also take part in a 12-month payment plan toward their past-due balances to allow for more flexible payments. Evergy said this is in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Evergy said it pledged $2.2 million to local COVID-19 relief through emergency grants:

  • Emergency grants to help non-profit agencies on the front lines delivering essential services to our communities. Evergy pledged $400,000 and already awarded grants to multiple agencies. Find eligibility and application information here.
  • Hometown Economic Recovery Program. Evergy is accepting applications from registered 501(c)3 and 501(c)6 nonprofits for programs and projects focused on aiding in the short- and long-term recovery efforts in its service territory. Grants can be requested in amounts between $5,000-$25,000 and will be awarded in two phases. Please click here for official rules, requirements, and to apply.
  • One million dollars to assist customers with energy payments. Evergy is expanding its flexible payment arrangements for residential and small business customers, committing $1 million to Dollar Aide, Project DESERVE and other programs that assist customers with energy payments.

Visit evergy.com for more information.


June 2, 2020

You Can Now Pay for Expired Vehicle Registration Tags Online

The Johnson County Motor Vehicle expanded its online portal service to help you renew your expired license tags.

Previously, you had to renew an expired vehicle registration at a Johnson County Motor Vehicle office. 

Those who have March, April, or May expired tags can renew them online at jocogov.org/residents/vehicles. You will need to have your license plate number and VIN. No penalties will apply at this time per state order.

Call the Johnson County Motor Vehicle at 913-826-1800 or email dmv@jocogov.org with any questions.


June 1, 2020

Johnson County Releases New Guideline for Reopening

Johnson County released a new 3-page guide for residents and businesses to use as a reference for reopening our economy.

Johnson County isn’t under any orders, but local health officials strongly recommend residents and businesses follow the state’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioner last week approved an expectation that businesses and residents follow Phase 3 of the state’s plan through June 11. The 3-page guide helps determine what that means for you as the state’s Ad Astra plan is currently in Phase 2.


Huge Turnout for Free COVID-19 Testing Last Friday

Long lines greeted Johnson County residents who wanted to get tested for COVID-19 on May 29.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) hosted the free drive-thru clinic for anyone over the age of 18, with or without COVID-19 symptoms. JCDHE said 950 residents were tested – the first time participants could get tested without needing an appointment.


Free COVID-19 Testing for Residents WITH Symptoms Available by Appointment 

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment offers free drive-through testing for residents with symptoms at its Olathe office located at 11875 S. Sunset Drive.

Residents over the age of 18 need to make an online appointment and first seek testing from their primary health care provider. Testing supplies are limited.


May 29, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 9,719 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 103 years old and the median age is 41. In Kansas, 208 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 829 positive cases of COVID-19 and 62 deaths.


May 28, 2020

City of Merriam to Continue Following Ad Astra Reopening Guidelines

As an organization, the City of Merriam will continue to follow guidelines from Gov. Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas and will remain in Phase 2. This means City facilities (City Hall, the Irene B. French Community Center, and Public Works) will remain closed to the public.

The governor’s office continues to provide coronavirus data from across the state and will recommend when to move through the plan’s phases.

Background

On May 26, Kelly vetoed House Bill 2054 passed by Kansas lawmakers that affected the executive branch’s emergency power during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state was in Phase 2, but, with the vetoed bill, the Ad Astra plan is now only guidance to county health officers, who can impose health, business, and large gathering limits. Kelly signed a new 15-day state disaster declaration that began May 27 to extend some, but not all, of her previous emergency orders, which were set to expire at midnight on June 10.

Read the governor’s statement.

On May 27, Johnson County Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Sanmi Areola said they “strongly recommend” businesses continue to follow the state’s Ad Astra plan. Read their response.

On May 28, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to not impose any new restrictions and said businesses are “expected” to follow the state’s Ad Astra plan, but they can voluntarily continue to follow any phase or no phase at all. View the meeting.


May 26, 2020

Johnson County Residents Can Get Free COVID-19 Testing on Friday

You can now get tested for COVID-19 whether you have symptoms or not - and, it’s free.

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) will offer drive-thru testing for county residents – age 18 and older – on Friday, May 29, from 9 a.m.- 2 p.m., or until supplies run out. Testing involves getting a swab sample inside your nose.

JCDHE will test residents at the College Boulevard Activity Center (11031 S. Valley Road) in Olathe. JCDHE said residents should bring their driver’s license, but it’s not required to be tested. You need to be in line no later than 1 p.m. and enter the testing clinic off of Lone Elm Road and 107th St.

Once you arrive, remain in your vehicle with windows rolled up until it’s time for your test. This is the department’s fifth community testing event.


Information Graph Explains Contact Tracing

What exactly is contact tracing? The Mid-American Regional Council created this infographic to explain what it is and how it works.

Contact tracing infographic

View more contract tracing guidance from the CDC.


May 22, 2020

Governor Releases Information for Staying Safe Memorial Weekend

Gov. Laura Kelly recently put out a guideline on how Kansans can have a safe Memorial Day. The guide lists what you can and can’t do this weekend according to her Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas.

The document also includes public health tips, gathering ideas, and travel information.

View the Safe Memorial Day Guidance.


Flags Flown at Half-Staff to Honor COVID-19 Victims

Gov. Laura Kelly today ordered flags across Kansas to fly at half-staff to honor people who died of COVID-19, including 60 Johnson County residents.

The flags will remain lowered through sunset on Sunday, May 24.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 8,958 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 100 years old and the median age is 41. In Kansas, 185 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 711 positive cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths.


May 21, 2020

Merriam Playgrounds Will Remain Closed Until Phase 3

Due to reopening guidelines set by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, Merriam city playgrounds will remain closed until Phase 3.

Once our playgrounds open, follow our posted signs that talk about social distancing and proper hygiene. You’ll need to bring your own sanitizer.


May 20, 2020

State Creates COVID-19 Fraud Task Force

To investigate and prosecute people trying to scam money during the coronavirus outbreak, the state this week created the Kansas COVID-19 Fraud Task Force.

Task force members from 23 federal and state agencies are working together to fight against people trying to “capitalize on confusion and fear.”

View the task force member agencies.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud, you can submit a complaint with the U.S. attorney’s office at USAKS.Covid.Fraud@usdoj.gov or fill out a form online at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form. You can also call the National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline at 1-866-720-5721.


May 19, 2020

Modified Phase 2 Begins Friday 

Gov. Laura Kelly today announced Phase 2 of her Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas will start Friday, May 22 – a week earlier than expected.

Gov. Kelly said Phase 2 is modified to allow gatherings of up to 15 people. All businesses can open to the public except for bars, nightclubs, and swimming pools.

The governor said indoor leisure such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, and trampoline parks can reopen during Phase 2 as long as they follow the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and CDC guidelines. Recreational sports practices and tournaments will also be allowed starting Friday.

Read more about modified Phase 2.

Gov. Kelly said she expects Phase 3 will start Monday, June 8, with a limit on gatherings of 45 people or fewer.


May 18, 2020

Free COVID-19 Testing for Johnson County Residents

Starting today, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) is offering free COVID-19 testing for symptomatic adults.

Testing is by appointment only. JCDHE said you should first try to get tested with your primary health care provider before making an appointment with them. Schedule a COVID-19 test.

COVID-19 symptoms include:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever higher than 100.4 F
  • Chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell

The free testing is part of the Johnson County testing plan to better understand COVID-19 and how it spreads.


Johnson County Releases Updated Guide to Show Phase 1.5

Today’s the first day of Phase 1.5 of Gov. Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Guide to Reopening Kansas. The governor on May 14 added Phase 1.5 to her reopening plan, saying it would help slow down the spread of COVID -19 across the state.

Johnson County released an updated look at what businesses and activities are allowed to reopen.

Phase 1.5 graphic


May 15, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 7,886 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 100 years old and the median age is 42. In Kansas, 172 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 648 positive cases of COVID-19 and 55 deaths.


Gov. Laura Kelly Adds Phase 1.5 to State’s Reopening Plan

Gov. Laura Kelly added Phase 1.5 to the state’s Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas. This phase will begin Monday, May 18. Gov. Kelly said Phase 1.5 continues reopening efforts while “preserving some data-driven restrictions" necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Mass gatherings will still be limited to 10 people or fewer, but nail and hair salons can open by appointment only if unable to physically distance. Fitness centers can also open, but no group classes and locker rooms will remain closed.

Businesses still required to remain closed include:

  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Theaters, museums, and other indoor leisure spaces, such as trampoline parks, bowling alleys, etc.
  • Community Centers
  • Fairs, festivals, and parades
  • Public swimming pools
  • Organized sports
  • Summer camps.

Read Gov. Kelly’s news release on Phase 1.5.


CDC Releases Guidelines for Visiting Parks 

The weather is turning warmer, which means more of us want to be outside at local parks and walking trails.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released these guidelines for how to protect yourself and your family when visiting a neighborhood park.

The CDC still says you should avoid using playground equipment and picnic tables at this time.


May 14, 2020

State Adds Maryland to Travel Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added Maryland to its travel self-quarantine list.

Anyone who’s traveled to Maryland on or after May 12 should self-quarantine for two weeks. Other states on the quarantine list include Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. 

Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, and Washington are now off the travel quarantine list. View the complete travel quarantine list here.


May 13, 2020

2019 Franchise Fee Rebate Application Deadline Extended

The City of Merriam has extended its application deadline for its Franchise Fee Rebate Program until July 1. This is for a franchise fee rebate from your 2019 utility bills if you meet certain 2019 income requirements.

Utility companies collect franchise fees from their customers throughout the year. This program provides Merriam families – whose income falls within the limits established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – an opportunity to apply for refunds paid on electricity, gas, and landline telephone bills from 2019. 

Those interested should apply by July 1. Once our City facilities open during Phase 3, bring in all of your 2019 gas, electric, and landline telephone invoices along with proof of income in 2019 for all household members.

Please contact the Community Development Department at 913-322-5520 with any questions.


May 12, 2020

Merriam City Offices to Reopen to the Public During Phase Three

City of Merriam facilities are planned to reopen to the public during Phase Three of Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.

According to Gov. Kelly’s plan, Phase Three begins no earlier than June 1, when all businesses and establishments can open to gatherings of up to 90 people.

While all City offices are scheduled to reopen during Phase Three, the Merriam Municipal Court will continue court cases on June 23. The Irene B. French Community Center will remain closed with preparation for the Merriam Community Center opening. The new community center is scheduled to open to charter members on June 22 and to the general public on June 29.

Please call City Hall at 913-322-5500 with any questions, and stay updated on all COVID-19 related stories and city cancellations on this webpage.


Johnson County Park and Recreation District Releases Plan to Reopen Parks and Programs

The Johnson County Park and Recreation District (JCPRD) announced its four-phase plan to reopen facilities, services, and programs. 

The JCPRD Recovery Plan shows when facilities will open and programs will resume. It also details staff protocols within each phase. JCPRD officials said it’s currently in Phase 1.


May 11, 2020

Severe Weather Tips During Coronavirus 

Severe weather doesn’t stop for anything so be prepared.

photo of fork lightning at nightPrepare for Severe Weather

  • Check the forecast regularly and sign up for mobile weather alerts at NotifyJoCo.
  • Create an emergency kit.
  • Have a plan. Know how to evacuate, where to go for shelter, and how to communicate with your family during an emergency.

 Coronavirus Impact 

  • Take shelter to ensure your safety during severe weather.
  • If a public shelter is your only option, make sure they are still open.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face mask.
  • Try to maintain social distancing as best as possible.

 Staying Safe During Severe Weather

  • “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Lightning will soon follow. Seek shelter in a safe building or vehicle.
  • “Turn around, don’t drown.” Don’t drive into floodwater.
  • Move indoors and away from windows during strong wind and hail.
  • Get to the lowest and most interior room of your home during a tornado. Stay away from windows.


Johnson County Enters Phase 1 Today

Johnson County today enters Phase 1 of Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.

During this phase:

  • No gatherings of more than 10 people are allowed.
  • Masks are strongly encouraged in public settings.
  • Maintain six feet of physical distancing.
  • Telework is strongly encouraged.
  • Avoid non-essential travel.

 Childcare facilities and libraries are now allowed to operate as are restaurants and retail stores with certain restrictions.

Bars and nightclubs, fitness centers, community centers, and public swimming pools are still not allowed to open during this phase. View Johnson County’s guide to show what businesses and entities are now open.


May 8, 2020

United Way of Greater Kansas City is Accepting Donations to Help Fight COVID-19

The United Way of Greater Kansas City 211 has teamed up with emergency service providers and community organizations from across the region to accept public donations to help fight COVID-19. 

United Way needs personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, baby items, and sanitary supplies among other items.

Call the COVID-19 donation hotline 2-1-1 Monday through Saturday with any questions.  

United Way Call for help graphic


Motor Vehicle Offices to Reopen Monday

Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices will reopen with Phase 1 starting Monday, May 11.

The offices will be open from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday, in a limited capacity.

The public is encouraged to do business online if possible or use the drop-off or mail-in options. Learn more about the new in-person guidelines here.

 

Businesses Should ‘Flush’ Their Water Pipes Before Reopening

WaterOne officials said business owners should refresh their water before reopening. That’s if your workplace sat empty for a few weeks or longer. Officials said it ensures you have a fresh water supply.

You should: 

  • Run every tap – cold water first, then hot.
  • Flush every toilet.
  • Maintain all appliances with a water connection such as refrigerators, drinking fountains, and coffee makers.

Find more information here.

 

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 6,501 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 100 years old and the median age is 42. In Kansas, 152 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 583 positive cases of COVID-19 and 47 deaths.


May 6, 2020

Property Tax Payment Options During COVID-19

With the second installment of 2019 property taxes due on or before May 11, the Johnson County Treasury and Financial Management Department will open the tax collection office on Monday in a limited capacity.

The tax collection office is located at 111 S. Cherry St. in Olathe. Read recommended guidelines about in-person payments.

You’re strongly encouraged to pay your taxes by mail or online.

  • By mail – Taxpayers can mail a check along with the payment stub to P.O. Box 2902; Shawnee Mission, KS 66201. To avoid interest, payments by mail must be postmarked on or before May 11. Don’t send cash by mail. It’s recommended that cash customers purchase a money order and pay by mail.
  • Online - On the webpage, taxbill.jocogov.org, tax payments may be submitted electronically using the eCheck option for only $0.50 per transaction or by credit card for a 2.4% fee per transaction.


May 5, 2020

Apply for Help to Pay for Your Energy Bills

You can now apply online for help to pay for a portion of your home energy costs.

As part of the federal stimulus CARES Act, Kansas is receiving funds to help supplement funds for energy assistance if you meet certain income requirements.

Apply for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) through May 29 via the Kansas Department for Children and Families.


May 4, 2020

Johnson County to Follow State’s Economy Reopening Plan; Releases Reopening Guide

Johnson County will now follow Gov. Laura Kelly’s four-phase plan for reopening the economy starting May 11.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners voted to table the Johnson County Recovery Planning Task Force recommendations and follow the governor’s plan to avoid confusion among business owners and residents.

To help you better understand what is open during the state’s four-phase reopening plan., Johnson County staff created this reopening guide.

graph of Phased opening in Johnson County Opens in new window

Johnson County Creates Dashboard to Show COVID-19 in Long-Term Care Facilities

The Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) released a new dashboard to show COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities in the county.

The information will include a map of where the facilities are located. JCDHE will update the information daily. Find the dashboard at jocogov.org/coronavirus.


May 1, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 4,449 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 99 years old and the median age is 44. In Kansas, 130 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 471 positive cases of COVID-19 and 40 deaths.


April 30, 2020

Stay-at-Home Order Extended Through May 10 in Johnson County

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners today extended the county’s stay-at-home order through May 10.

The commissioners heard from Johnson County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster as well as members from the COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force.

Watch this morning’s BOCC meeting.

Learn more about the Task Force’s recommended phased approach to reopening businesses.


April 29, 2020

Johnson County Swim and Dive League Cancels 2020 Season

Merriam’s Dolphins won’t have a season this year. The Johnson County Swim and Dive League canceled the 2020 season today.

The Swim and Dive League posted this message“Based on current and projected social distancing guidelines, group limit guidelines, and the concern for participant, coach and staff health during the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 Johnson County Swim and Dive League season has been cancelled. While cancelling the season was a difficult decision, we feel that it is necessary based on the public health guidance we have received. We hope to see you again for the 2021 season. Thank you.”

Other cities affected by the canceled season include Fairway, Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, and Shawnee.


April 28, 2020

Merriam Community Center Opening Delayed Due to COVID-19

Merriam Community Center rendering with delayed wrote on it

The Merriam Community Center’s opening day is delayed due to COVID-19. The community center was scheduled to open June 1 to charter members and June 8 to the general public.

COVID-19 has created supply chain delays. Manufacture shutdowns have prevented the delivery of critical equipment that is required to complete and open the building. This will delay the completion of construction by approximately three weeks. Once the building is done, the City will follow CDC and Johnson County guidelines for opening facilities like this one to the public.

What we do know:

  • Based on CDC and Johnson County guidelines for gyms and group gathering restrictions, the Irene B. French Community Center will likely not reopen to the public.
  • If you purchase a charter membership or summer membership now, you’ll still reap the benefits. Charter memberships will run for 12 months from the new date we open to the public and summer memberships will run for the first 100 days after we open to the public. Month-to-month memberships will be available after opening as well.

These are the plans as of today. Due to these uncertain times, we may need to adjust them based on new information due to COVID-19. We’ll let you know as soon as we decide the Merriam Community Center’s new opening date. Thank you for sticking with us and making Merriam and our community Just Right! 


Group Tasked with How to Reopen Johnson County Set to Make Final Proposal Today

The Johnson County COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force will meet at 3 p.m. today to finalize a proposal on how to reopen businesses in the county.

The group recommends opening the county in four different phases. The task force members are determining which sectors belong in each phase.

Learn more about the task force and its proposed recommendations.


April 27, 2020

State Creates New COVID-19 Website

The State of Kansas employees created a new website for COVID-19 response and recovery. The website lists the latest news, information, and resources related to COVID-19 data, business and unemployment assistance, family support, agriculture, and more.

Visit the website


Watch State COVID-19 Weekday Press Conference at 2 p.m.

Want to know the latest news about COVID-19 in Kansas? Watch Gov. Laura Kelly live for her weekday press conferences at 2 p.m.

Secretary Lee Norman, M.D. joins Gov. Kelly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (schedule is subject to change). Can’t make it live? Watch it later on Facebook or Vimeo.


Local COVID-19 Survey Complete; 600 People Asked to Participate in Next Drive-Thru Testing

Johnson County said it received about 45,000 responses to its COVID-19 health survey last week. Health officials asked more than 600 of those who took the survey to participate in the next drive-through testing clinic. 

The test – available by invitation only – will take place later this week. 

Learn more about the county’s testing plan.


April 24, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 2,777 cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 99 years old and the median age is 50. In Kansas, 111 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 417 positive cases of COVID-19 and 37 deaths.


County’s Election Office to Send Advanced Voting by Mail Applications Next Month

The Johnson County Election Office will send advanced voting by mail applications to all registered voters in May.

The mailing will include two applications for the August 4 primary and November 3 general elections. You’ll also find instructions for completing and returning the applications to the Election Office.

Johnson County voters who return the advance voting by mail applications will be mailed ballots for the August and November elections. You’ll receive ballots in the mail about three weeks before each election day.

Find more information here.


April 23, 2020

COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force Held Its First Meeting; Next Meeting Tomorrow, April 24

The Johnson County COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force met April 22 to begin planning how to start a phased approach to reopening the economy.

The group discussed:

  • Local economic data
  • PPE supplies
  • Business reopening best practices
  • Businesses that should be considered a priority for reopening.

Watch Wednesday’s meeting. The task force will next meet on Friday, April 24 at 10:30 a.m.


County’s Mental Health Center Expands Services

Johnson County Mental Health Center (JCMHC) has expanded services due to an increased community need. JCMHC now offers phone and curbside options for medication refills and psychosocial groups through Zoom. It also added staff to take in more mental health caseloads.

You can call the JCMHC hotline at 913-268-0156 for immediate services - if you or someone you care for are in crisis. Staff will answer your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call 913-826-4200 if you have mental health concerns not considered a crisis.


April 22, 2020

Time to Fill Out Second COVID-19 Health Study

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCHDE) is again asking you to fill out a short survey to better understand how widespread COVID-19 is in our community.

The surveys help JCHDE determine how many people in the county have coronavirus symptoms. Every member of your household should complete the survey, which will be kept confidential.

The survey closes at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 24. Take the survey.


Evergy Extending Payment Support through June 1

Evergy said it’s continuing to work with customers throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Through June 1, Evergy said it will:

  • Extended payment options with customer service available to help walk through payment plans (even for those on plans currently).
  • No late payment fees (for residential or small business customers).
  • No power disconnections related to nonpayments (for residential or small business customers).
  • Reduced payments for reconnecting service with no security deposit. If you’ve been disconnected for nonpayment, you’ll only need to pay 1/12 of your balance.
  • A plan in place to keep the lights on in our communities.

Evergy said it won’t disconnect any customers at this time, and to be cautious of scammers who say otherwise. Find more information at evergy.com/COVID19.


April 21, 2020

COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force to Start Meeting This Week

Johnson County now has a COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force to strategize and put into action a phased approach to reopening services the economy.

The task force – made up of county stakeholders – will meet this week for the first time. Members will give updates to the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners during its twice-weekly public meetings.


Johnson County COVID-19 Data Dashboard Adds New Features

Johnson County’s COVID-19 data dashboard gives you access to information about coronavirus cases in the county.

Now, in addition to knowing information such as patients’ race, symptoms, and pre-existing conditions, you can find the number of new cases, deaths, and percentage of positive cases in the county. There’s also a 10-day average for all key trends.

The data is updated daily.


April 20, 2020

Watch BOCC Special Meeting on COVID-19 

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners is holding a special meeting today at 3 p.m.

Board members will consider approving the county’s COVID-19 Recovery Planning Task Force to address reopening services to the community. They’ll also receive an updated report about COVID-19 in the county.

You can watch the broadcast live or a recorded version following the meeting here.


April 17, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 1,705 cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 99 years old and the median age is 52. In Kansas, 84 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 358 positive cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths.


Johnson County Gathering COVID-19 Data to See About Extending Stay-at-Home Order Past May 3

Johnson County officials said they plan to gather more coronavirus data by expanding COVID-19 testing and collaborating with Kansas City metro region communities.  Officials said they will use this data to “make the best decision for the county, during the week of April 27.” 

During this time, Johnson County will also create a Recovery Planning Committee to “strategize and implement a phased approach to reopening our economy at the conclusion of any stay-at-home order.”

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 3.


April 16, 2020

JoCo Health Officer Recommends Extending Stay-At-Home Order Through May 15

Johnson County Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster said he recommends extending the stay-at-home order through May 15 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

“We recognize our metro residents are making tremendous sacrifices and are concerned about their jobs, their businesses, and their families,” he said. “We are constantly looking at data to determine how we balance public health with economic concerns.”

Health directors across the nine-county Kansas City metro region joined his sentiments yesterday and are reminding everyone to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by:

  • Staying home.
  • If you must go out, staying six feet or more away from others and wearing a cloth face mask.
  • Washing your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your hands to your face.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily.


April 15, 2020

Gov. Laura Kelly Extends Stay-At-Home Order Through May 3

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly today extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 3. It was set to expire on Sunday.

The governor said the extra two weeks will further continue to slow the spread of COVID-19. Predicted peak dates continue to change but the most current data projects Kansas’s peak date as April 29.

As of today, there are 1,494 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas with 76 deaths. There are 334 positive cases In Johnson County and 19 deaths.

Thank you for your continued support in physical distancing and following stay-at-home orders. It has made great strides in flattening the curve and keeping our community safe.

You should continue to follow the stay-at-home order by only leaving your home to shop for food or medication, seek medical care, work at an essential job, or spend time outdoors while maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet or more.


April 14, 2020

Johnson County Releases COVID-19 Data Dashboard

You can now find COVID-19 data in Johnson County that includes cases by zip code; confirmed cases by sex, age, race, symptoms, and pre-existing conditions; and hospitalizations.

View the county’s dashboard.

Johnson County will update the dashboard daily.


New Coronavirus Resource Hub Shows Detailed Data Dashboard in Kansas and Missouri

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) put together a regional resource hub that shows detailed data about the coronavirus in our area.

The hub covers the 9-county MARC region of Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami, and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte, and Ray counties in Missouri.

It shows data for coronavirus cases by county, cases by state, and state projections, including peak dates and hospital bed shortages.

View the KC Region COVID-19 Resource Hub.


April 13, 2020

New KDHE Webpage About COVID-19

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) created a new webpage dedicated to the state’s coronavirus response.

The webpage contains the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state by county, a map of COVID-19 in Kansas, the stay-at-home order, and a list of frequently asked questions. View the webpage.

Remember, you can call the KDHE at 877-427-7317 after business hours with any coronavirus or executive order-related questions or email questions to covid-19@ks.gov.


Kansas Attorney General’s Office Warns of COVID-19 Text Message Scam

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said you should watch out for a new text message scam.

The message reads, “Someone who came in contact with you tested positive or has shown symptoms for COVID-19 & recommends you self-isolate/get tested.”

The text also contains a link to a website for more information. Schmidt said you shouldn’t respond to the text or click on the link. 

If you do receive the text, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division online or call 800-432-2310.


April 10, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 1,166 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 99 years old and the median age is 55. In Kansas, 50 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 263 positive cases of COVID-19 and 12 deaths.


RideKC in Johnson County to Temporary Reduce Bus Service 

Starting Monday, April 13, RideKC Johnson County bus routes will run on a reduced daily schedule.

Johnson County officials said it’s to help reduce spreading COVID-19 while maintaining access to essential businesses and services for riders.

View schedule changes.

RideKC in Johnson County said it’s taking the following steps to protect the public and its transit operators:

  • No fare collection for public transportation: Passengers should board buses and head directly to a seat.
  • Creating social distancing: Every other row on the large buses will be marked as “do not use” so riders can be appropriately spaced.
  • Changes to paratransit services: Johnson County is prioritizing one rider (with up to one travel companion) per vehicle. In emergency situations, there may be more than one rider and their travel companion. All other routes and microtransit are currently operating as usual.
  • Implementing hygiene measures: Transit operators are utilizing gloves and hand sanitizer. Riders are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer or utilize hand sanitizer provided on our vehicles.
  • Daily bus sanitation: Buses are sanitized daily manually and with a food-grade safe misting sanitizer.


Johnson County Appraiser’s Office Extends Appeal Deadline

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Johnson County Appraiser’s Office has extended the Informal Appeal filing deadline to April 17, 2020, at 5 p.m.

The Appraiser’s Office recommends you submit your appeal application online at jocogov.org/dept/appraiser/home or mail and postmark the application on or before the April 17, 2020 deadline. You can also place appeal applications inside the Appraiser’s Office DROP BOX located outside the front door at 11811 S. Sunset Drive in Olathe.

IMPORTANT: Appeal applications must include all supporting documentation at the time of submittal.

The Appraiser’s Office will review and process the appeal. You’ll receive a scheduled telephone hearing and a mailed confirmation letter with the date and time of the hearing.

The appraiser will then decide if there should be an adjustment made based on the evidence submitted. 

Please note the Appraiser’s Office is not conducting in-person hearings for the safety of our citizens and staff. If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact Johnson County at 913-715-9000.


Message from Johnson County Department of Health and Environment to Stay Home This Weekend

We know there has been confusion in our county and state regarding the legality of more than 10 people gathering together for the purpose of religion. The confusion escalated this week when Governor Kelly announced her Executive Order to include religious activity in the state’s prohibition of gatherings of more than 10 people, which was then rescinded by the Kansas Legislature’s Legislative Coordinating Council. We have received clarification from the State, however, that Johnson County’s ban on gatherings of more than 10 people is still in effect.

For many religions, this week, the upcoming weekend, and next week have major significance. In typical years there would be gatherings of people to worship, to share meals and to spend time together. As we know, this is not a typical year. We implore you to focus not on what you are allowed to do, but instead on what is the right thing to do. 

Avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and following the CDC guidelines on social distancing are the right things to do. This is a crucial time to keep taking the challenging but important steps to protect the health and safety of your neighbors and our community...especially our vulnerable friends and loved ones who are most susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and suffering the most from it. In particular, older adults (those over 60), those who have problems with their immune systems or who have multiple chronic diseases should stay at home.

We understand the sacrifice of not gathering with friends, family and congregations...especially this week and weekend. Please do the right thing and follow these steps to make your weekend safe and healthy.

  • Do not join nor create gatherings of people that are more than 10 people.
  • Even in smaller groups, practice social distancing and good hygiene (wash hands often, sit or stand more than 6 feet apart from others).
  • Use technology that allows for participation in worship and spending time with others on-line from the safety of your home.

Help us to ‘flatten the curve’ this weekend. Stay strong, stay safe, and stay home.

Dr. Joseph LeMaster, Johnson County Public Health Officer
Dr. Sanmi Areola, Director, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment


April 9, 2020

Johnson County COVID-19 Testing Underway

Johnson County is now testing residents for COVID-19, including the following:

  • Long-term care facilities testing began this week with residents and staff in 40 facilities.
  • A self-reporting survey launched for all Johnson County residents – Take the Survey.
  • Drive-through community sampling begins Friday, April 10 (only for residents who receive an invitation for demographic and geographic sampling).
  • Continued testing of the seriously ill.
  • Essential workers testing.
  • First responders testing.

Learn more about the county’s testing plan.


April 8, 2020

Johnson County Needs Your Help with Survey

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCHDE) wants you to fill out a short survey to better understand how widespread COVID-19 is in our community.

The survey will help JCHDE determine how many people in the county have coronavirus symptoms. Every member of your household should complete the survey, which will be confidential.

This survey will close at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 10, but you’ll be asked to complete the same survey several more times over the next few weeks for JCHDE to compare results.

Take the survey.


Gov. Laura Kelly Revises Mass Gatherings to Include Religious Institutions and Funerals

As of 12:01 p.m. today, religious gatherings and funerals in Kansas must comply with the limit of public gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

Gov. Laura Kelly replaced her executive order yesterday, noting this week as “Holy Week” and Kansas approaching its “projected peak infection rate in the coming weeks.”

The executive order doesn’t ban religious gatherings or funerals, but they must be limited to 10 or fewer people, including clergy, staff, and attendees.


April 7, 2020

Merriam Farmers’ Market Opening Day Now May 23

Due to COVID-19, the City of Merriam pushed back the Merriam Farmers’ Market opening day to May 23. It was scheduled to start on May 2.

The farmers’ market runs from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at Merriam Marketplace (5740 Merriam Drive).

When the market opens, vendors will be more spread out and shopping will take place from the outer edge of the market. At-risk shoppers are encouraged to come between 7-8 a.m.

View a complete list of planned entertainment throughout summer at the Merriam Farmers’ Market.


New State Added to Self-Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment added Connecticut to its travel quarantine list.

Anyone who’s traveled to Connecticut on or after April 6 should self-quarantine for two weeks. Other states on the quarantine list include California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, and Washington. 

View the complete travel quarantine list here.


April 6, 2020

CDC Now Recommends You Wear Cloth Masks in Public

Because a good portion of people who have COVID-19 don’t have symptoms or develop them a couple of days after getting the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people should wear cloth masks when out in public.

The CDC said it helps avoid spreading the virus from people interacting in close contact such as at a grocery store or waiting for food at a carry-out restaurant.

Cloth masks are not 100% effective for blocking COVID-19. Remember to wash your mask as soon as you get home and avoid touching your mask without washing your hands.

Find more CDC information about cloth masks.

Learn how to create a non-sew mask.


Turkey Creek Festival Scheduled May 16 Canceled

With a heavy heart, the Merriam Parks and Recreation Department has officially canceled the 35th Annual Turkey Creek Festival.

The health and safety of our community, team members, and patrons continue to be our top priority.

The Turkey Creek Festival 5K is postponed and will now become the Merriam Drive Live 5K on Oct. 3. Stay tuned for more information on MDL soon.


New Community Resources 

For The General Public

The United Community Services of Johnson County created a COVID-19 page designed to list all county resources, including housing, food, childcare, health/mental health, and financial toolkits.

Find a complete list here.


For Small Businesses

KCSourceLink at the UMKC Innovation Center created a hotline number for small businesses seeking support. Call 816-235-6500 for more information. 

It also created a webpage with a Coronavirus Business Resources list and an ongoing survey for small businesses to let them know what challenges owners are facing.


April 3, 2020

COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 620 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. The age range is less than 1 year old to 95 years old and the median age is 55. In Kansas, 17 people have died from the disease.

Johnson County has 172 positive cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths.


April 2, 2020

State of Kansas Creates Job Hiring Website

With thousands of Kansans out of a job due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas Department of Commerce created a job hiring website.

The website lists businesses across the state in need of workers for immediate hire. It’s free for both job seekers and employers.

Essential businesses with urgent hiring needs can fill out this form to be placed on the website.


Gov. Laura Kelly Hosts Live Daily Press Briefings on Facebook 

Stay up-to-date about how the coronavirus affects the State of Kansas. You can watch live press briefings with Gov. Laura Kelly on Facebook every day at 2 p.m.

Can’t make it at 2 p.m.? The governor will share the feeds on her Facebook page shortly after the press briefing ends.

View today’s press briefing.


April 1, 2020

Johnson County to Spend $400,000 on COVID-19 Testing

To better understand how COVID-19 spreads, the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) will randomly test residents.

JCDHE will test people experiencing symptoms as well as people who don’t have any to get a complete picture of the effect of COVID-19 on the community. The county will send questions to a random sample pool within the community with a short survey and an invitation to get tested. This process will ensure a broad demographic.

Only one person from a family or household will be tested. Johnson County is still working on who will get tested and where the drive-through testing clinics will take place.

The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners met Monday to approve spending $400,000 to pay for the COVID-19 tests.

View Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 testing.


UPDATED: City of Merriam Cancellations and Postponements

April 2: Senior’s Spring Fling Opening Reception – Canceled

April 4: Brunch with the Bunny – Canceled

April 7: Medicare Savings and Low Income Subsidy Program – Canceled

April 18: Flowering Hanging Basket Workshop – Canceled

April 18: What’s Cluckin’ in the Hen House – Canceled

April 20-24: Large-Item Pickup – Canceled

April 25: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – Canceled

May 2: Spring Fling Recycling – Canceled

May 2: Merriam Farmers’ Market Opening Day - Postponed until May 23

May 5: Finding Your Roots – Genealogy Basics – Canceled

Now in July: Tree Limb Pickup – Postponed 


Spring Recycling Event Scheduled May 2 Canceled

Based on the direction provided to all trash haulers by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, the City of Merriam is canceling Spring Fling Recycling scheduled for May 2. 

The City plans to partner with the City of Shawnee in October to bring you the same recycling services. You also can contact these recycling and disposal services in Johnson County. 


April 1 is Census Day


Today is Census Day! We’re challenging you to fill out your 2020 Census TODAY to help shape your future.

You should have received your 2020 Census in the mail. You can fill it out by phone, email, or mail-in form.

** Your 2020 Census may show a Shawnee/Mission/Shawnee Mission mailing address. You will be counted as a resident of the City of Merriam as long as your street address and zip code are correct. **


Your Response Matters

The U.S. Census Bureau collects information from all persons in the nation using the 10-question form. You’ll have to count everyone who lives in your home, including kids and extended family.

Participation is mandatory, but your answers will be confidential. Information collected determines how much money Kansas gets from the federal government. Kansas distributes this money to county and local programs that likely affect you.

Due to COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau employees will delay going out in the field to track down people who haven’t filled out the form by the end of the month – so please do your part today!

Find more info at https://2020census.gov. Everyone counts for the 2020 Census!


March 31, 2020

Spring Large-Item Pickup Canceled

Based on the direction provided to all trash haulers by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, the City of Merriam is canceling its large-item pickup scheduled for April 20-24.

Our residents’ and employees’ health and safety are our greatest concern during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and understanding.

You can save your large items – the City will again provide this service Oct. 19-23, or you can contact these recycling and disposal services in Johnson County. If you have further questions, please call Merriam City Hall at 913-322-5500.


Regional Efforts to Support Small Businesses; New Small Business Relief Loan Fund Announced Today

A new, community-backed $5 million small business relief loan fund will provide immediate help to local businesses in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The KC COVID-19 Small Business Relief Loan Fund offers loans up to $100,000 to local businesses with fewer than 20 full-time equivalent employees and less than $2.5 million in revenue. It gives priority to businesses in retail, food service, arts and entertainment, hospitality, fitness, personal service, transportation, and healthcare not directly involved in the COVID-19 response.

The relief loan fund is supported by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Area Development Council, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and is administered by AltCap.

This fund is specifically designed to support small businesses that might not qualify for SBA Disaster Loans or other similar sources of funding. It’s for small businesses located in Johnson, Wyandotte, and Leavenworth counties in Kansas and Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass counties in Missouri.

Small businesses can apply for the loan fund at alt-cap.org/covid-relief-fund or contact AltCap at 816-216-1851 or info@alt-cap.org. Applications are available for three-year, short-term loans up to $100,000 with no interest and deferred payments for the first 6-12 months.

Additional resources for small business owners: 


Johnson County District Court Holds Remote Hearings; Jury Trials Scheduled through May 10 to Be Continued 

Beginning today, all Judicial District Court hearings in the county will move to remote access. 

Only a judge and an administrative assistant will be in a courtroom for hearings or proceedings. Visit courts.jocogov.org for up-to-date information on individual dockets.

Jury Trials

All jury trials scheduled through May 10 are continued until further notice. Contact dca-jury@jocogov.org or call 913-715-3365 with any questions.

If You Receive a Traffic Ticket in Johnson County (not in Merriam)

The Johnson County District Attorney’s Office is closed to the public. All traffic court cases scheduled through May 8 have been rescheduled. Visit jococourts.org to find your new court date or contact the Clerk of the District Court at 913-715-3470.


March 30, 2020

Gov. Laura Kelly Issues Stay-At-Home Order for the State of Kansas

The entire state of Kansas is now under a stay-at-home order. Gov. Laura Kelly issued the order this weekend to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

The order is issued through Sunday, April 19 – however, the governor could extend the order.

Kansans are directed to stay home unless they are:

  • Getting food, medicine, or other household items
  • Going to and from work 
  • Seeking medical care
  • Caring for children, family members, a vulnerable person, or pets at another location
  • Engaging in an outdoor activity – provided they maintain the six-feet distance and 10-person limit on a gathering. 

Kansas is now the 22nd state to issue a stay-at-home order.

How does this work with the Johnson County stay-at-home order?

The state issued stay-at-home order replaces Johnson County’s stay-at-home-order that went into effect March 24. If the state order expires on April 19, then Johnson County’s order would go back into effect through April 23.


KDHE Adds More States to Travel Self-Quarantine List

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) just added two more states for required travel-related self-quarantine: Colorado and Louisiana. 

Kansans will now have to self-quarantine for 14 days when they return home from traveling in one of these eight states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Washington

Kansans also have to self-quarantine if they’ve traveled internationally or on a cruise ship on or after March 15. Find more information at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.

The KDHE gives live updates on its Facebook page on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. You can also watch the feed later on Facebook or Vimeo.


COVID-19 By the Numbers

As of today, there are 368 positive cases of coronavirus across the state of Kansas. Eight people have died of the disease. The age range is 4 years old to 95 years old and the median age is 55.

Johnson County has 116 positive cases and two deaths.


March 27, 2020

Kansas Provides Details on How it’s Prioritizing COVID-19 Testing

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment released details on how it’s selecting who gets tested for coronavirus across the state.

Due to supply shortages, criteria to get tested include:

  • Healthcare workers and first responders who have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Potential clusters of unknown respiratory illness, with priority given to long-term care and healthcare facilities.
  • Hospitalized patients with no other diagnosis.
  • People over the age of 60 who have COVID-19 symptoms, with priority for those who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
  • People with an underlying health condition that would be treated differently if they had COVID-19.

Read more about the testing guidelines.


Merriam Municipal Court Updated Case Schedule

All Merriam Municipal Court walk-in dockets and hearings for defendants not in custody are suspended through Monday, May 11.

  • If your court date is March 31, your new court date is now May 19 at 10 a.m.
  • If your court date is April 2, your new court date is now May 21 at the same time you were scheduled on April 2.

All persons scheduled to appear will have new court dates mailed to defendants’ addresses on file. Email court@merriam.org or call 913-322-5540 to update your address. You also can find your new court date at merriam.org/court.

If you have further questions, please call Merriam Municipal Court at 913-322-5540 or visit merriam.org/court.


March 26, 2020

Essential Business List

Johnson County released a list of businesses that it considers essential during the 30-day stay at home order. View the complete list and executive order here.

If you have any questions about this list, please call Johnson County at 913-715-5000.


Greater Kansas City Community Foundation Collecting Donations for COVID-19 Relief Fund

There’s a Kansas City Regional COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to help non-profit organizations affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

United Way of Greater Kansas City, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Greater Kansas City, and the Mid-America Regional Council are partnering with the Foundation to put together grants to assist services and operations with a focus on housing support, food insecurity, access to health care, and more.

Find more information, including how you can donate, here.


March 25, 2020

New Johnson County Hotline and Call Center Hours

Johnson County invites you to call 913-715-5000 for questions about the 30-day executive order and 913-715-2819 for virus-related questions.

Representatives will answer your questions from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also read answers to some common questions here.

Call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 877-427-7317 for questions after business hours.


Motor Vehicle and Other Johnson County Offices Are Closed to the Public Starting Today

Due to continued efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, several Johnson County Government services and buildings, including the Johnson County Motor Vehicle Offices will be closed to the public starting March 25 for 30 days.


Play it Safe – Avoid Our Playgrounds

While our parks are not closed to the public, we recommend you follow CDC guidelines and avoid our playgrounds and park equipment. We encourage you to enjoy our Turkey Creek Steamway Trail and other public trails across the region. 

When you are out on the trails, observe the CDC’s recommendations of social distancing - 6-feet from other people at all times.

cdc park guidelines on a trail


Federal and State Tax Filing Deadline Extended to July 15

The filing deadline for tax returns is now July 15, 2020. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) extended the federal deadline from April 15 to provide relief to individuals and businesses affected by COVID-19.

The IRS said the relief is automatic – taxpayers don’t need to file an extra form or call the IRS to qualify.

Governor Laura Kelly recently signed an executive order to extend the state tax filing deadline to July 15. She said the state is also waiving any interest and penalties for returns and payments made on or before July 15, 2020.


March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Rumor Control

FEMA created a COVID-19 rumor control page to address inaccurate information posted on social media. 

View the rumor control page. 

View the Spanish response page.


Your Help Needed to Make Health Care Masks

Are you handy with a needle and thread? Personal protective equipment is in short supply, so Johnson County is asking for donated cloth masks for health professionals to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson County will start accepting donated cloth masks at the Johnson County Administration Building (111 S. Cherry St.; Olathe, KS) in Room 201 during business hours, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Some businesses are offering free fabric to make protective masks. Call 913-715-1041 for more information.


New Municipal Court Dates from This Week

In a continued effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, Merriam Municipal Court cases are suspended until May 11. All persons scheduled to appear will be contacted by mail with information on new court appearance dates. 

  • If you had a March 24 court date, your new date is now May 12 at 10 a.m.
  • If you had a March 26 court date, your new date is now May 14 at the same time listed.

If you have further questions, please call Merriam Municipal Court at 913-322-5540 or visit merriam.org/court for other municipal court information.


Stay-At-Home Order Goes Into Effect Today

The Johnson County Emergency Public Health Order is now in effect and remains until 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, April 23. The order mandates residents stay at home, with the exception of essential activities, which are described in the order.

Read the Johnson County order.

Consideration after 30 days will be given of whether to prolong these orders beyond that date, based on public health and critical care information available at that time.

Examples of essential businesses and services that will remain open during this time:

  • Government services
  • Infrastructure projects
  • Child care
  • Health care
  • Grocery stores
  • Pharmacies
  • Delivery/carry-out/drive-through services from restaurants

March 23, 2020

Irene B. French Community Center Remains Closed Through April 23

The Irene B. French Community Center and the Tim Murphy Art Gallery will remain closed through April 23 to comply with the 30-day stay at home order. Community Center memberships will be extended one day for each day it’s closed. 

All Parks and Recreation activities and programs are canceled through April 23. Please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 913-322-5550 to receive a refund or credit for park activities and programs. The City also is canceling all park shelter rentals through May 11. Parks and Recreation will contact you to receive a full refund.


City of Merriam Cancellations and Postponements

March 23: Merriam City Council Meeting – Canceled

March 23-27: Spring Tree Limb Pickup – Postponed until July

March 24: Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting – Canceled

April 1: Mom and Baby Essential Oils – Canceled

April 2: Senior’s Spring Fling Opening Reception – Canceled

April 4: Brunch with the Bunny – Canceled

April 7: Medicare Savings and Low Income Subsidy Program – Canceled

April 15: Merriam 2040 Public Meeting – Canceled

April 18: Hanging Flower Basket Workshop – Postponed until April 25

April 18: What’s Cluckin’ in the Hen House – Canceled

April 20-24: Large-Item Pickup – TBD

April 25: National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – Canceled

May 2: Spring Fling Recycling – Canceled


A Message from Evergy

To help all of our customers going through a difficult time, we’re implementing the following:

· Extended payment options with customer service available to help walk through payment plans (even for those on plans currently).

· No late payment fees until May 1 (for residential or small business customers).

· No power disconnections related to nonpayments (for residential or small business customers).

· Reduced payments for reconnecting service with no security deposit. If you’ve been disconnected for nonpayment, you’ll only need to pay 1/12 of your balance.

· A plan in place to keep the lights on in our communities.

We’re a part of this community, too, and we’ll continue to offer support. Feel free to check back here at any time for updates. If you’re still unsure or have questions, you’re more than welcome to look through our Help Center, or from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, reach out to our customer service.

Please keep in mind our customer care center will likely experience high call volumes while we work to keep the number of people gathered there to a minimum. The health and safety of our employees, customers, and communities will guide future decisions as we continue to work through this together. We appreciate your patience and understanding.


COVID-19 Symptoms 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment released this chart to show the different symptoms among coronavirus, cold, flu, and allergies. 

If you think you have coronavirus, the department recommends you contact your primary doctor by phone and talk to them about your symptoms. You can also call the Johnson County hotline at 913-715-2819 or 913-715-5000.

Cold vs. Flu vs.Allergies vs.Coronavirus symptoms


Burn Permits

Due to COVID-19, the Overland Park Fire Department will not issue new burn permits at this time and fire inspectors will not visit any new burn sites. All permits approved before March 23 will be processed as usual.


March 22, 2020

Johnson County Issues Emergency Order

Johnson County today issued an emergency order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. With this order, the county has listed essential businesses and activities.

View the Emergency Order of Local Health Officer.

How long do we have to stay at home?

This goes into effect on Tuesday, March 24. The order is in place until April 23, 2020.

What can I do? What’s open?

Essential services that may remain open include:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Food: grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants
  • Banks
  • Laundromats/laundry services

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including law enforcement and offices that provide government programs and services.

What’s closed?

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Public events and gatherings
  • Convention centers

Where does this apply?

This is in effect throughout the CORE 4 partners of Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; Jackson County, Missouri; and Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas.

Get your questions answered at johnsoncounty.gov/coronavirus. You also can call Johnson County’s call center at 913-715-5000 or ask questions via email at https://www.jocogov.org/contact-us.

Stay updated on the City of Merriam’s postponements and closures on this webpage.


March 21, 2020

A Message from Johnson County

Today, the CORE 4 partners of Jackson County, Missouri; Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, based on the urgency of the COVID-19 public health emergency and the imminent rapid progression of the pandemic in our area, announce that beginning Tuesday, March 24, residents will be directed to stay at home except for essential needs. All jurisdictions will issue orders that will stay in effect for 30 days from the effective date of March 24, with consideration after 30 days of whether to prolong these orders beyond that date, based on public health and critical care metrics available at that time.

Examples of essential businesses and services that will remain open during this time period include critical government services, infrastructure projects, childcare, healthcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, and delivery/carry-out/drive-through services from restaurants. Additional details are forthcoming.

The chief elected officer and medical directors for each jurisdiction will hold a joint news conference tomorrow, March 22 at 1:00 p.m. at Union Station, where more details will be made available.

March 20, 2020

Apply for a Business Relief Fund

There’s now a Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency Fund (HIRE Fund) created to help provide bridge loans to eligible businesses hit by restrictions related to COVID-19.

Gov. Laura Kelly and the Kansas Department of Commerce made the announcement today in an effort to help people in the restaurants, bars, hotels, event centers industry.

You can apply here.


Keep Americans Connected Pledge

Communication companies are pledging for the next 60 days to not terminate internet service for residential or small business customers and to waive any late fees due to the economic effects of the coronavirus.

The Federal Communications Commission said the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” will allow public Wi-Fi access in hotspots to “any American who needs them.”

With this pledge, AT&T announced it will temporarily lift data caps and Comcast said it will increase the speed limit on its Internet Essentials program for low-income households and will waive the program’s connection fees for two months for new subscribers.


March 19, 2020

Merriam Municipal Court Suspended Through May 11

Court gavel

All Merriam Municipal Court walk-in dockets and hearings for defendants not in custody are suspended through Monday, May 11.

All persons scheduled to appear will have new court dates mailed to defendants’ addresses on file. Email court@merriam.org or call 913-322-5540 to update your address. You also can find your new court date at merriam.org/court.

Cases are postponed due to social distancing recommendations from health experts surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

If you have further questions, please call Merriam Municipal Court at 913-322-5540 or visit merriam.org/court for other municipal court information.


Find Referral Resources Through 2-1-1

Call 2-1-1 for your one-stop resource for community relief. Through 211, you’re connected to more than 8,000 programs run by nonprofit organizations and government agencies throughout the 23-county United Way 211 service area. 

Find programs for food needs, financial help, utility assistance, tax services, and more.


March 18, 2020

Johnson County Hotline

You can now call Johnson County on its COVID-19 hotline number 913-715-2819. Nurses will answer your questions about the coronavirus from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday.

You can also call the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment at 913-477-8343 during regular business hours or the Kansas Department of Health and Environment at 877-427-7317 after business hours.

Find more information at jocogov.org/coronavirus.


Free Breakfast and Lunch for All Children in the Shawnee Mission School District

Beginning March 24, the Shawnee Mission School District will offer free breakfast and lunch from 10:30-11:30 a.m. to all children ages 1-18 at four schools.

School locations:

  • Comanche Elementary, 8200 Grant St., Overland Park
  • Rosehill Elementary, 9801 Rosehill, Lenexa
  • Shawanoe Elementary, 11230 W. 75th St., Shawnee
  • Hocker Grove Middle School, 10400 Johnson Drive, Shawnee

Students must be present to receive breakfast and lunch. Contact the Food Services Department with any questions at 913-933-9710.


Citywide Tree Limb Pickup Postponed Until July

Tree limbs at a sidewalk curb

The City of Merriam is pushing back its free, citywide tree limb pickup until sometime in July. We’ll post on our city website merriam.org and our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) when the City sets a new date.

Please check with your specific trash hauler to see what residential yard waste services they provide.

The health and safety of our residents and employees continue to be a priority for us during this time. We are sorry for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.


March 17, 2020

Evergy Extends Payment Options, Waives Late Fees in Response to Coronavirus

Evergy announced Friday its temporary suspension of nonpayment service disconnections for residential and small business customers. Today, the company took several additional steps to help its customers. Late fees will be waived, and residential and small business customers who had been disconnected prior to Friday’s announcement may re-establish service by paying one-twelfth of their account balance. These changes will be in place through at least May 1.

While service won’t be disconnected in the coming weeks, Evergy encourages customers to continue to make payments toward their energy use to avoid higher balances later. Evergy customer service representatives can assist customers with payment arrangements and budget billing options. In addition, by calling 2-1-1, customers may learn about community resources for financial assistance. Customers will continue to receive reminders, including collection notices, calls, and texts even though they will not be disconnected. These notifications are important to remind customers of past-due balances, and, if eligible, customers need the notifications to receive energy assistance funds from community organizations.


Merriam City Offices Closing to the Public Today at Noon

In an effort to limit the community spread of COVID-19, the City of Merriam is closing all city offices to the public effective today, March 17 at noon through Sunday, April 5. All essential services will remain operational, and our employees are ready to assist you by phone or email.

General Information
Please call our main line at 913-322-5500 for city business, including pet and business licenses, garage sale permits, grant information, or general questions.

Police Department
The Police Department lobby will remain open to the public for emergencies. You can reach the Merriam Police Department at 913-322-5560 during office hours or dispatch at 913-782-0720 after hours for non-emergency questions.

Community Development Department
Call our Community Development Department at 913-322-5520 if you have questions about building or flood plain development permits, occupational licenses, development proposals, or other questions. Employees will determine if you need to come in for a meeting by appointment.

If you have a codes complaint, you can call 913-322-5520, email comdev@merriam.org, or go on our website at merriam.org and click “Request Tracker.”

Public Works
Citywide tree limb collection is postponed until July. Stay tuned for more information. Call 913-322-5570 or visit merriam.org and click “Request Tracker” with any issues or complaints.

Parks and Recreation
All Merriam Parks and Recreation classes and programs are canceled during this time. The Irene B. French Community Center and the Tim Murphy Art Gallery are also closed. Please read more information here.

Municipal Court
You can pay a fine or search for Municipal Court cases by going to merriam.org/court. We also have a dropbox in between our front doors at Merriam City Hall if you need to drop off a check or a copy of your proof of insurance. For all other questions, please call 913-322-5540.

Cases scheduled March 24 through April 5 are postponed as follows:
Arraignment Dockets
March 24 will be continued on April 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.
March 31 will be continued on April 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.

Plea Dockets
March 26 will be continued on April 16, 2020, at the same time they were scheduled on March 26.
April 2 will be continued on April 23, 2020, at the same time they were scheduled on April 2.

All persons scheduled to appear will be contacted later this week with information about new court appearance dates.

Visitors Bureau
The Visitors Bureau office is closed. Visitors are encouraged to use exploremerriam.com or call 913-403-8999. 


March 13, 2020

The City of Merriam Prepares to Help Limit the Spread of COVID-19

Irene B. French Community Center Closing Today at 5 p.m.

In a continued effort to limit the spread of COVID-19, the City of Merriam will close the Irene B. French Community Center at 5 p.m. today, March 13 with the plan to reopen Monday, April 6, 2020. All City events, meetings, and activities are also postponed or canceled during this timeframe. We’re canceling events because of social distancing recommendations from health experts surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak.

Cancellations and postponements include:

  • The Irene B. French Community Center, including all classes and events. Call the IBFCC at 913-322-5550 with any questions.
    • “Senior’s Spring Fling” Opening Reception at the Tim Murphy Art Gallery scheduled Thursday, April 2 is canceled.
    • Brunch with a Bunny scheduled Saturday, April 4 is canceled.
  • The City Council meeting scheduled Monday, March 23 is canceled.
  • All City committee meetings.
    • Parks and Recreation Advisory Board Meeting scheduled Tuesday, March 24 is canceled.
    • Planning Commission scheduled Wednesday, April 1 is canceled.
  • Merriam Municipal Court cases scheduled March 24-April 6.
    • Arraignment Dockets:
      March 24 will be continued on April 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.
      March 31 will be continued on April 21, 2020, at 10 a.m.
    • Plea Dockets:
      March 26 will be continued on April 16, 2020, at the same time they were scheduled on March 26.
      April 2 will be continued on April 23, 2020, at the same time they were scheduled on April 2.
    • All persons scheduled to appear will be contacted next week with information on new court appearance dates.

The City will still have its Spring Tree Limb Pickup scheduled March 23-27.

The City is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations for businesses. All police, fire, and EMS services will continue to operate. Merriam City Hall and Public Works will be open during regular hours at this time and we’ll update you if anything changes. Residents are encouraged to do as much City business on our website merriam.org or by phone at 913-322-5500.

“We are concerned with the health of our residents and staff and believe these are the necessary steps to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” Merriam City Administrator Chris Engel said. “We encourage everyone to wash their hands often and stay home if they are sick.”

Engel said all City staff who have a fever, cough, or may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 will follow CDC guidelines, including staying home, following reporting procedures, and not reporting to work until symptoms have subsided or they are cleared by a health professional.

The City continues to work closely with Johnson County and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to monitor COVID-19 in our area.

Here are helpful links to provide you with accurate information about COVID-19:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CDC Common Questions

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

If you have further questions, please call Merriam City Hall at 913-322-5500. The City will update the community as new information becomes available.


Trusted Web Resources

Here are helpful links to provide you with accurate information about COVID-19:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coronavirus Information  |  Comparta la Información Sobre el COVID-19

CDC COVID-19 Symptoms  |  Síntomas

CDC Common Questions  |  Respuestas a las Preguntas Más Frecuentes

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Symptom Comparison Chart: COVID v. Flu v. Cold v. Alergies

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment

Johnson County COVID-19 Updates

CDC’s COVID-19 Situation Summary
Provides the latest updates on source, spread, response, and recommendations

EPA Information on Disinfectants

World Health Organization

CDC Guidance on Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities

City Contact Information

City Hall
913-322-5500

Police
Emergency: 911

913-322-5560

After-hours dispatch:
913-782-0720

Community Development
913-322-5520

Municipal Court
913-322-5540

Parks & Recreation
913-322-5550

Public Works
913-322-5570


Johnson County COVID-19 Hotline

913-715-2819
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.