Three new presumptive-positive COVID-19 cases identified in Kansas

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Kansas health officials confirm three presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Johnson County, Kansas. The KDHE says the patients all attended the same conference in Florida. These cases are not connected to the earlier case in Johnson County, according to health officials.

Release from KDHE (March 12, 2020):

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is confirming three presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas. The possible cases were identified 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. These results will be verified by the CDC lab but will be treated as a positive unless determined otherwise.

The cases are in Johnson County and involve three people who attended the same conference in Florida. It is believed they contracted COVID-19 in Florida.  They were not symptomatic when traveling home and sought care once they began feeling ill. 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 patients are all males and in isolation. These cases are not connected to the earlier case in Johnson County. No other information will be provided about the patients.

“Right now, there is no community spread,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “The cases in Kansas are here because of transmission elsewhere. However, Kansans should remain vigilant. It’s important to live your lives, but it’s also important to take basic precautions like exercising good hygiene practices. It is up to each of us to do our part.”

“Kansas is working alongside local and federal public health partners in addressing presumptive positive cases in our state, and the potential spread of the virus,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It is our highest priority to keep all Kansans healthy and safe. Everyone should continue to practice safe habits such as hand washing and staying home when sick. The KDHE website, www.kdheks.gov, has daily updates and other resources to keep Kansans educated on COVID-19.”

People should exercise vigilance when attending large public gatherings, particularly those people over age 60 and those with weakened immune systems or chronic medical conditions. There are mass events guidance documents from the Centers from Disease Control available on KDHE’s website, www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath and believe you may have had contact 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 Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information about COVID-19, visit KDHE’s website and Frequently Asked Questions at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/ and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus