Kansas sees second death from COVID-19 as cases rise

photo by: Associated Press

A billboard along Interstate 35 displays tips to help people prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus Monday, March 16, 2020, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Story updated at 6:56 p.m. Saturday

TOPEKA — A second COVID-19 death in Kansas was confirmed Saturday, this one in the Kansas City suburb of Johnson County.

State health officials revealed the death in a news release meant to update the number of new coronavirus cases in the state and did not give any details about the person who died.

The state’s first death from the virus, a Kansas City-area nursing home resident in Wyandotte County, was reported March 12. The state saw its number of confirmed cases in the state rise from more than 40 on Friday to 55 on Saturday, according to the release.

News of the second death came the same day that residents in the Kansas City area, including those in Wyandotte and Johnson counties in northeastern Kansas, were told they would be under a stay-at-home order starting Tuesday for anything other than “essential needs.” That includes child care, health care, grocery stores, pharmacies and delivery/carry-out/drive-thru services from restaurants.

The St. Louis area in Missouri, Illinois, New York and California have also implemented stay-at-home orders.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

In response to the growing number of cases in the state, the Kansas Board of Healing Arts released a plan Friday intended to ensure enough health care providers to treat the potential spike in the numbers of COVID-19 patients. The plan includes a new temporary emergency license process for healthcare providers willing to provide care to Kansas patients stricken with the virus.

More coverage: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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