The Geary County Health Department Tuesday afternoon identified a new COVID-19 hotspot associated with Iglesia Casa De Restauracion, a Junction City church located on Grant Avenue.

The health department said Tuesday that it had identified at least 16 cases of the virus associated with the church.

Anyone who attended the church between Aug. 29 and Sept. 6 has been determined to be at risk for exposure to COVID-19.

Anyone who attended the church during those times is asked to self-monitor for symptoms counting down 14 days from the time of their attendance.

If individuals who attended this church during these times develop symptoms of COVID-19, they are asked to contact their primary care doctors for further instructions.

COVID-19 symptoms include: fever higher than 100.4, chills, rigors, muscle aches and pains, malaise, headaches, sore throat, lower respiratory issues such as shortness of breath, new loss of smell or taste, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, and congestion/runny nose.

The numbers of people sick with COVID-19 in the community have gone up by 11 since Tuesday afternoon.

Nine people were identified by the health department as having contracted the virus Tuesday afternoon. Wednesday afternoon, two more infected people were discovered.

As of Wednesday, the health department said a total of 250 community members have had COVID-19 since March. The majority of these have recovered.

According to the health department, 221 people have recovered from the virus in the community while 27 cases remain active.

Two people have died of the virus in the community and one person is currently hospitalized for the virus.

Of the population that is known to have been infected with the virus, 29.63 percent fall into the age range of 19 to 30 years of age, 22.22 percent fall into the age range of 31 through 50, 18.52 percent of cases fall into the age range of 51 through 70 and 18.52 percent of cases are older than the age of 70. A total of 7.41 percent of local cases fall into the age range of 0 to age 10 and 3.70 percent of local cases fall into the age range of 11 to 18.

Human coronavirus such as COVID-19 are most commonly spread through coughing, sneezing, personal contact along the lines of shaking hands, and touching a surface that has been contaminating with the virus before touching your face, particularly the eyes, nose and mouth.

Though this virus is highly contagious, people can stop the spread of it by following certain steps. People should wash their hands often and thoroughly — for at least 20 seconds — with soap and water and make judicious use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not an option. They should avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, avoid contact with sick people, avoid non-essential trips outside their residences especially if they are sick, and clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that people touch frequently.

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