Although Miami County still has no official cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), bordering counties in every direction have reported cases as numbers continue to increase throughout Kansas and the country.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been posting daily updates of positive test results throughout the state, and the report on Monday, March 23, listed a total of 82 cases in Kansas.
A majority of those cases are located in Johnson County (32 cases) and Wyandotte County (16 cases). Douglas County is third on the list with eight cases, Leavenworth County has five cases and Butler County has three cases. Every other county on the list has only one or two cases.
Franklin County, bordering Miami County to the west, has one case, and Linn County, bordering Miami County to the south, has two cases. Cass County, bordering Miami County to the east in Missouri, has reported six cases.
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 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.
There have been two deaths in Kansas related to the virus. The most recent was reported Saturday, March 21, and it was a Johnson County man in his 70s who was hospitalized and had no history of travel. He did have underlying health conditions.
The first death, also a male in his 70s, occurred in a senior care center in Wyandotte County on March 12.
The Miami County Health Department recently posted a link on its Facebook page to a Nurse Call Center being offered by Olathe Health. Local residents who suspect they have mild symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with a confirmed case or have questions about recent travel are encouraged to call the hotline at (913) 782-2224 or toll free at 1 (877) 544-2224.
The hotline is available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Beer said the hotline will help reduce the influx of calls the county health department is receiving, but she emphasized that anyone experiencing serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, should seek immediate help at the emergency room and call ahead to alert the ER of the situation.