The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is confirming its first presumptive-positive case of COVID-19 in Kansas. The possible case was identified today with testing sent to KDHE’s Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories (KHEL). KHEL, which is approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to perform COVID-19 testing, found presumptive-positive results this afternoon. These results will be verified by the CDC lab but will be treated as positive unless determined otherwise.
“Kansas has been prepared for positive cases of novel coronavirus and will continue to work alongside local and federal public health partners in addressing the potential spread of the virus,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It is our main priority to keep Kansans healthy and safe. We want Kansans educated on all aspects related to COVID-19.”
The case is located in Johnson County and the patient is currently in home isolation, following the guidance of the CDC. KDHE continues to work with the local health department and CDC to identify and contact people who may have come into contact with the individual while they were infectious, and will monitor them for fever and respiratory symptoms. The patient is a female under the age of 50 years old. No other information will be provided about the patient.
“We continue to monitor the situation closely. In the meantime, the general public can help. Please practice proper public health hygiene,” Dr. Lee Norman, Secretary of KDHE, said. “Wash your hands and stay home if you’re sick.”
On March 4, Governor Kelly announced the administration’s robust, comprehensive preparedness plan in the event of a positive test result.
Under Governor Kelly’s direction, KDHE and KDEM are:
• in constant communication with local hospitals and health departments, coordinating with local, state and federal public health partners;
• preparing for emergency management situations on a regular basis, with staff who have decades of experience in developing responses and preventative measures for any situation;
• continuing to work with federal, state and local partners to maintain awareness of national and international COVID-19 trends and strategies.
The 2019 novel coronavirus infections initially were diagnosed in Wuhan City, China and have been reported in 60 locations internationally, including the United States. There are a number of unknowns with the virus, including how long people are considered contagious. KDHE, along with our community partners, continues to investigate this illness. Treatment for individuals with confirmed cases is supportive care.
If you have recently traveled to China, Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea and have developed fever with lower respiratory symptoms including cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or have had contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider. You may also call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) today, Saturday, March 7 from 6-8 p.m. and on Sunday, March 8 from 9 a.m.–5 p.m.