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Sedgwick County Confirms First Case Of COVID-19

Jasleen Kaur
flickr Creative Commons

Sedgwick County has confirmed its first presumptive-positive case of COVID-19.

County officials say the patient is a woman over the age of 60. She is currently in isolation at home. The county is giving no other details about the woman’s identity.

The woman went to her physician Wednesday with fever, shortness of breath and a cough, Sedgwick County Health Director Adrienne Byrne said during a news conference Thursday night. A sample was sent to the state lab in Topeka for testing and came back positive Thursday afternoon.

It’s unknown whether the woman had recently traveled, Byrne said. The woman’s close contacts have been notified and are quarantining themselves.

Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Pete Meitzner said it’s a “blessing” Wichita has gone so long without a confirmed case of COVID-19.

“We knew eventually that we were going to have a positive case, and now that’s happened,” he said. “We’ll probably have another.”

This brings the number of confirmed cases of the disease in Kansas to 36. Sixteen are in Johnson County.

Earlier Thursday, Butler County announced its second case, a woman in her 60s who had recently traveled inside of the country. She is also in isolation and health officials are monitoring people she had contact with when she was infectious.

Byrne says testing supplies are limited, so testing is still being done only by appointment. Anyone experiencing symptoms is asked to call the county or, starting Friday, 211 to be screened before a health professional determines whether a test is needed.

Nadya Faulx is KMUW's Digital News Editor and Reporter, which means she splits her time between working on-air and working online, managing news on KMUW.org, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. She joined KMUW in 2015 after working for a newspaper in western North Dakota. Before that she was a diversity intern at NPR in Washington, D.C.