36 cases of COVID-19 in Douglas County; Lawrence hospital alters surge plan to allow for 250 patients

photo by: Associated Press

A hospital worker waits in a tent at the entrance of a drive-thru testing location for coronavirus at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kan., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Local health officials announced Monday that 36 Douglas County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, an increase of three from the previous day.

There are 23 cases believed to have been contracted through travel, five from local transmission and six from contact with someone with a positive case. Two cases are still under investigation for type of transmission.

The 36 local cases involve two people in their late teens, 15 people in their 20s, 10 people in their 30s, five people in their 40s, two people in their 50s, one person in his or her 60s and one person in his or her 70s, according to a news release Monday afternoon. Of those cases, 19 are men and 17 are women, the health department said.

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health included in its update that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public because of the fact that some individuals with COVID-19 are asymptomatic and would be less likely to spread the virus with a face covering.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced that, as of 11 a.m. Monday, a total of 845 Kansas residents had tested positive for the new coronavirus, including 25 deaths as a result of the disease.

KDHE’s online map noted that 821 Douglas County residents have been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 6.72, the third highest in the state.

A daily update from LMH Health announced that, as of 8:30 a.m. Monday, there was one patient at Lawrence’s hospital with COVID-19 and six others who were under investigation for the virus.

LMH Health had collected 669 COVID-19 specimens total as of Monday, and 33 of those specimens had tested positive for the virus. Over the weekend, from April 3 to April 5, LMH Health collected 38 specimens.

LMH Health also said that its Incident Command team is considering a plan that would allow for up to 250 patients to be housed within the hospital, a 45-person increase from the original surge plan. The hospital also noted in its release that if more than 250 beds were needed, LMH Health could expand to its nearby surgery center.

LMH Health’s normal daily inpatient census is around 100.


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