The Miami County Health Department reported that, as of 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, the results of COVID-19 laboratory testing in the county have yielded 18 negative and one positive.
Some laboratory results are still pending, according to the health department’s news release.
The positive result is from an out-of-state resident. Miami County health officials confirmed last week that one patient from Missouri who tested positive was in Miami County when the test took place. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) daily report lists Miami County as reporting a positive case in an out-of-state resident. Those numbers are included in the patient’s home state.
Christena Beer, a disease investigator at the Miami County Health Department, said an out-of-state resident could be someone who traveled from their home state to Miami County to get tested or someone who was traveling through and stopped to get tested at a location in Miami County.
Beer added that it is the responsibility of the patient’s home county health department to identify everyone who the person has had contact with and ask them to self quarantine for 14 days, and she has received confirmation that the task has been completed in the Missouri patient’s case.
Tuesday’s daily KDHE update shows 98 total cases in Kansas, including 36 in Johnson County and 22 in Wyandotte County.
The low number of tests being conducted in Miami County is something that may not change anytime soon. KDHE announced Monday, March 23, that due to widescale shortages of laboratory supplies and reagents, testing for COVID-19 at the state lab is being prioritized for public health purposes and urgent need. KDHE will be prioritizing specimens for COVID-19 testing based upon those who meet Kansas’ patient under investigation (PUI) criteria starting March 23.
- Healthcare workers and first responders who have COVID-19 symptoms
- Potential clusters of unknown respiratory illness, with priority given to long-term care facilities and healthcare facilities
- Hospitalized patients with no alternative diagnosis
- Individuals over the age of 60 who have symptoms of COVID-19 with priority given to people who reside in a nursing home, long-term care facility, or other congregate setting, and
- Individuals with underlying health conditions that would be treated differently if they were infected with COVID-19.
Specimens that were sent to KDHE prior to March 23 will still be tested. However, moving forward, healthcare providers should send specimens to a commercial reference laboratory, according to the release.
All patients who present with symptoms compatible with COVID-19 who are not a high priority for testing will be asked to self-isolate at home or another appropriate location for seven days after illness onset or for 72 hours after resolution of fever (without fever-reducing medication) and significant improvement in symptoms, whichever is longer, according to the release.
“KDHE has been in contact with the CDC, FEMA, manufacturers and distributors of the testing supplies and reagents to find ones our laboratory needs to run the specimens collected for COVID-19 testing,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “We are doing everything in our power to get supplies for our state. We are focusing testing in our lab on higher risk individuals at this time.”