Douglas County reporting 10 identified cases of COVID-19

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)

Story updated at 9:39 p.m. Wednesday

Ten Douglas County residents have now tested positive for COVID-19, the local health department announced Wednesday.

Previously, the number of identified cases in the county had stood at six. Nine of the current cases are travel related, while one, announced Monday, is believed to be a case of local transmission of the disease.

“Given we have one instance of local transmission in Douglas County, announced on March 23, and the likelihood these numbers will increase in coming days, we have been preparing in recent weeks with community partners to work together to stem the coronavirus outbreak and promote social distancing,” Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health said Wednesday in a news release.

Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department spokesperson George Diepenbrock said that of the four new patients, two are male and two are female. One female patient is in her 40s, and the other is in her late teens. Both men are in their 20s.

The six cases previously reported by the health department involved a man in his 20s who traveled to Florida, a woman in her 30s who traveled to the West Coast, a man in his 30s who traveled to England, a man in his 50s who was on an international cruise ship, a man in his 40s who commutes outside the county to work, and a woman in her 40s who appeared to contract the disease locally.

As of the state’s latest update Wednesday morning, the number of positive COVID-19 tests in Kansas had reached at least 126, including three deaths. The state’s secretary of health and environment, Dr. Lee Norman, said Wednesday that he expects the number to approach 400 by the end of March.

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What to do if you think you may have COVID-19

Patients who have symptoms — difficulty breathing, cough and fever — should stay home, immediately isolate themselves from others and call their health care providers. Patients should never show up unannounced at a medical office or hospital. Instead, they should call ahead to explain their symptoms and give health care workers the ability to minimize the risk to others.

If patients do not have health care providers, they may call the Lawrence Douglas-County health department’s coronavirus line, 785-856-4343.

For updated information on the outbreak, Kansas residents can email or call 866-534-3463 (866-KDHEINF), which is staffed 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

More information can be found through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s website or the Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health website.


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