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Mayor, Wichita City Council In Quarantine After Council Member Tests Positive For COVID-19

Members of the Wichita City Council are in quarantine after council member Brandon Johnson tested positive for COVID-19.

The pandemic has arrived at Wichita City Hall.

Mayor Brandon Whipple, the City Council, City Manager Robert Layton and other city employees are in quarantine for two weeks after council member Brandon Johnson tested positive for COVID-19.

The city said in a news release over the weekend that the people in quarantine will not be allowed to return to City Hall until about Nov. 18. It said the City Council will continue to meet but will do so remotely.

Credit City of Wichita
Brandon Johnson

Whipple said on Facebook that he plans to get tested Monday and will “follow (council member) Johnson's example of transparency by reporting the results openly.”

“Please keep (council member) Johnson, his family, the City Council & the City of Wichita staff in your prayers.”

The city said in its news release that it was contacted by the Wichita Fire Department about city staff possibly being exposed. The department was conducting contact tracing on its own cases when it notified the city.

City Hall remains open on a limited basis. But the city said residents who need to do business there should check the city’s web page on the coronavirus for the latest information.

Wichita joins the Sedgwick County government in experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. In late September, Sedgwick County Manager Tom Stolz and at least three other county employees tested positive for COVID-19; Commissioner Jim Howell tested positive in October. Several other county employees were placed in quarantine as a result.

Tom joined KMUW in 2017 after spending 37 years with The Wichita Eagle where he held a variety of reporting and editing roles. He also is host of The Range, KMUW’s weekly show about where we live and the people who live here. Tom is an adjunct instructor in the Elliott School of Communication at Wichita State University.