March 14, 2020
On Thursday, Gov. Laura Kelly issued an emergency declaration for the State of Kansas in response to coronavirus (or COVID-19). The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.
As of Friday, the number of confirmed coronavirus in Kansas had grown from one the previous week to at least six, including one patient in Wyandotte County who died Wednesday. The man was in his 70s and lived in a long-term care facility. Three of the new cases were in Johnson County and all involve people who attended the same conference in Florida. The sixth confirmed case is in Sedgwick County.
Earlier in the week, KDHE issued updated guidance documents for a variety health care scenarios and settings—including outpatient clinics, inpatient facilities, and transportation of patients with suspected infection—at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.
The latest advisory from KDHE reads:
"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.
"If you have symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath and believe you may have had contact with someone with a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider. You may also call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about COVID-19, visit www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus."
KDHE advises physician clinics to ask patients to call ahead if coronavirus infection is suspected, allowing your team to take steps to prevent other patients from being exposed. This and other patient recommendations are available for use as flyers, on your website, and/or social media in this file (PDF).
- Find quick links to Kansas coronavirus resources at: www.kmsonline.org/coronavirus.
- Find all of the latest updates on coronavirus in Kansas at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.
March 13, 2020
Developments surrounding COVID-19 have been accelerating, and the CDC warns that spread of the virus is expected to continue for some time.
As the situation is rapidly evolving, it is more critical than ever to rely on trusted resources for the latest, accurate information. While you are likely well aware of these resources, we wanted to provide you a brief summary that you might easily share with your staff and others.
Comprehensive COVID-19 Resources
United States: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
March 7, 2020
This week, there were a number of fatalities in western states from coronavirus (or COVID-19), following the first U.S. fatality on Feb. 29.
KDHE continues to report that there are no confirmed cases in Kansas and that officials are working to ensure that our state is ready if and when cases are confirmed. On March 5, KDHE posted a 90-page COVID-19 Toolkit, which contains preparedness assessments and other tools for health care providers, quarantine recommendations, cleaning guidance, and number of other resources. Also this week, KDHE officials indicated that COVID-19 tests can now be done in Topeka in about six hours—much quicker than the multiple days it previously took to get test results back from the CDC.
Find all KHDE coronavirus updates at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus
Feb. 29, 2020
This week, CDC announced that it may have confirmed a case of "community spread" in California of coronavirus (or COVID-19), which would be the first case not associated with travel to China. The agency warns that further spread in the U.S. is to be expected and that the situation is rapidly evolving. CDC recommends visiting its COVID-19 updates page frequently.
KDHE continues to report that there are no confirmed cases in Kansas. KDHE posts regular COVID-19 updates at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.
CDC recommends that physicians and other health care workers should consider the coronavirus if a patient is showing symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) after having traveled to mainland China within 14 days of symptom onset. Suspected cases should be reported to your local health department and to the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline 1-877-427-7317.
If you or your patients have questions about the virus, there are a number of resources at CDC.gov, all of which are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. These include:
• Resources for health care professionals
• Risk Assessment Tool
• Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool
• Prevention and Treatment
• Flyers and other educational material to avail in your clinic
• Tracking confirmed cases in the U.S.
Feb. 8, 2020
Coronavirus update: As you may have read, a patient at Lawrence Memorial Hospital was recently isolated and tested for possible 2019 novel coronavirus infection. On Feb. 1, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that tests had come back negative and that Kansas currently has no cases.
CDC has broadened the area of exposure beyond Wuhan, China to include the entire Chinese mainland (which does not include Hong Kong and Macau). KDHE and the CDC are currently recommending: "If you have influenza-like symptoms and have recently been to mainland China or around someone who has been to China and was sick, you are encouraged to contact your health care provider." Suspected potential cases should be reported to the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline 1-877-427-7317.
The latest information on the outbreak and recommendations from the CDC are available at: www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus. Resources include symptom and treatment information in both English and Chinese.