COVID-19 Information Updates: Masks, Changes in Criteria Checklist


The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation highly recommends all staff and visitors wear masks at all PBPN governmental buildings, including the Prairie Band Health Center as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19.

This is in correlation with the recommendations given by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies).

Due to recent studies it is known that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.

This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity – for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing – even if people are not exhibiting symptoms.

Surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders. Here are links to further information about cloth masks:

Additionally, the KDHE has revised the testing criteria for COVID-19. Previously three criteria had to be met and effective April 21, 2020 it has changed to two. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rigor (shivering, may be accompanied by sweating)
  • Myalgia (pain or weakness in muscles)
  • Malaise (general sense of overall discomfort)
  • Headache
  • Sore Throat
  • Lower respirator illness (cough, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing)
  • New olfactory (sense of smell) and taste disorders
  • Diarrhea

For anyone in the Prairie Band Potawatomi Community who may have questions or feel that they need to seek medical treatment for possible infection of the coronavirus:

  • Call the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Health Center at 785-966-8220 first.
  • Tell them about your travel and your symptoms.
  • Staff can provide instructions on how to get care without exposing other people to your illness.

Preventive action has proven to slow the spread of COVID-19 and all individuals are highly encouraged to:

  • Stay home, except to receive needed medical care.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day.