Coronavirus

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Zach Zimmer’s roommates at Benedictine College had grown accustomed to seeing him stressed.

But on the first Saturday in September, the college junior got them worried. He was running a temperature of 101.5.

“We knew immediately at that moment,” Zimmer said, “that this could be something more serious.”

cdc.gov

With the situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic changing rapidly, we’re compiling news and information here about COVID-19. For more community updates, reopening plans and public health orders, check out our COVID-19 Resource Center.

How many known cases are in Kansas?

As of Sept. 23, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed 55,226 cases of COVID-19 (+1,267 since last report), and 621 deaths (+21). The positive test rate is 7.4%. KDHE gives a live update on its Facebook page every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2 p.m.

More than 437,000 other people have tested negative for COVID-19. 

Sedgwick County, which includes confirmed cases not finalized in KDHE's count, says as of Sept. 23 there have been 8,149 confirmed cases (+42 since last report) and 85 deaths. The positive test rate is 4.8%. The county no longer reports active cases or recoveries. 

The U.S. has had more than 6.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, and more than 200,000 deaths. 

The University of Kansas Medical Center will take part in a nationwide clinical trial of different treatments for patients suffering mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 who do not require hospitalization.

The first treatment will involve the use of monoclonal antibodies that target the spike proteins of COVID-19. The drug was made by Eli Lilly.

Monoclonal antibodies are engineered versions of the same virus-fighting antibodies that the body naturally produces.

WALLACE, Kansas – Wallace County is at the western edge of Kansas, on the border with Colorado. It’s the second-least populated county in the state, and for the first half of 2020, life here maintained a sense of normalcy while the rest of world dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Holly Mulcahy

Six months in a pandemic has meant six months of virtual events.

That’s also led to a lot of “Zoom fatigue.”

While in-person events are slowly returning, large gatherings like galas and festivals are still regulated to online-only. Here are four tips from Wichita organizers about how to draw attention in the saturated virtual world:

Public speaking skills

Phillips County Retirement Center got a coronavirus testing machine this month from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

But it will run out of the sample-collecting kits that came with the device on Monday, just one week after turning it on.

Twenty miles away, the county’s other nursing home is still waiting for its machine.

“It’s been a really big struggle just to even try to find out who knows where it is,” said Teresa McComb, who runs Logan Manor Community Health Services.

Wichita State has prohibited professors from notifying their students if a classmate has tested positive for COVID-19 and may have unwittingly exposed fellow students.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — For months, the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth avoided the worst of the coronavirus pandemic. But that’s changed.

Leavenworth has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the entire federal prison system, with 206 inmates and five staff members with the virus. There are currently 1,594 people incarcerated at the prison.

Before the pandemic, Wichita State University didn’t have a federally certified lab capable of handling coronavirus testing.

Now it does. And the new nonprofit outfit is gearing up to churn out hundreds of thousands of tests by the end of the year.

“I know that sounds like a lot,” said Tonya Witherspoon, Wichita State’s vice president of industry engagement, “but we think several labs in the state need to be able to do that much — or more.”

TOPEKA, Kansas — Republican lawmakers agreed to extend Kansas’ coronavirus disaster declaration Friday by a month after demanding assurances that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won’t shutter businesses across the state a second time.

The contentious approval by the State Finance Council is just the beginning of a cycle: By law, the declaration can be extended only up to 30 days at a time.

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