COVID-19 Cases Identified at Topeka Service Area

The Shawnee County Health Department (SCHD) has identified some COVID-19 cases linked to the Topeka Service Area on the I-70 Turnpike located at mile marker 188 (just East of Topeka). The exposure is specifically designated to the food court and restrooms of the facility. This facility houses a food court that includes the following restaurants: Dunkin Donuts, Hardees, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. The facility is accessible going east and westbound on the I-70 Turnpike.

 People who have traveled to the food court or used the restrooms of this facility after April 23rd are recommended to contact their primary care provider IF they develop any of the following symptoms within 14 days from the date of their visit:

• fever of 100.4 F or higher

• chills

• rigors

• myalgia (muscle pain or aches)

• malaise

• headache

• sore throat

• lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)

• new olfactory and taste disorders

• diarrhea

The facility will remain closed while it is sanitized.

Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, Shawnee County Health Officer stated, ”While the risk of anyone being infected with coronavirus during a visit at the Turnpike food court is probably very low, it is not zero. We think that the public should know that information and should share it with their healthcare provider if they become sick.”

This investigation is being conducted by the Shawnee County Health Department in collaboration with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority.

As a reminder, human coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are most commonly spread through coughing and sneezing, personal contact like shaking hands, and touching a surface with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. There are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent spreading them:

·         Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

·         Stay home when you are sick and only leave home for essential items.

·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.