Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Kansas — The University of Kansas and Kansas State University have both delayed the start of classes until March 23, with online classes to follow and the possibility of continuing online-only for weeks after that due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In the face of mixed messages and confusion about who can or should be tested for the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted updated guidance for doctors on Sunday about when to test a patient.

The short answer is, if your doctor thinks a test is appropriate, he or she can request the test. But a request doesn't guarantee that you'll get one.

Confused? You're not alone.

Kansas health officials say the state is ready to deal with the new coronavirus now that Kansans are starting to get sick.

Lawmakers still aren’t ready to move past a dispute on abortion and Medicaid expansion that is blocking progress on both issues.

Host Jim McLean talks with a legislator at the center of that dispute about why he cast a decisive vote against the anti-abortion amendment. 

Also featured on this week’s episode: an interview with the state’s chief health officer on preparations for the coronavirus.

File / U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Wikipedia

Testing for the coronavirus in Kansas has so far been done at the state level, but health leaders say that could change in a few weeks.

Update: 2:30 p.m. Monday 

Kansas’ single confirmed coronavirus patient has been admitted to the University of Kansas Health Systems hospital.

The Johnson County woman, who was announced to have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus on Saturday, was admitted to the Kansas City, Kansas, hospital after self-isolating at home.

This story was updated at 7 p.m., March 7.

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas has its first case of the new coronavirus, officials announced Saturday. 

The Johnson County woman infected with the virus appears to have contracted her illness while traveling in the northeastern United States, state and local public health officials said at a Statehouse news conference early Saturday evening. She was tested earlier this week for COVID-19. 

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

Kansas health officials are monitoring up to a dozen people a day for the possibility that they have the new coronavirus and the state health department now can do its own testing, the department’s top official said Wednesday.

As the community spread of the coronavirus appears to be accelerating in Seattle and other parts of the United States, Kansas City civic leaders and health experts insist the area is prepared for the problem.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and health department head Rex Archer met with police and fire departments and local health providers on Tuesday to coordinate their efforts and encourage local residents to take steps as well.

Sedgwick County

The Sedgwick County Health Department is stepping up its public awareness campaign on the coronavirus and offering tips to prevent infection.

County Health Director Adrienne Byrne says most people in the Wichita region are at low risk for infection from the coronavirus, which leads to the COVID-19 disease. There are no confirmed cases in Kansas or Sedgwick County yet.

Kansas and Missouri are at low risk for the coronavirus, but schools in the Kansas City metro are having “robust conversations” about how to protect students in case an outbreak occurs in the U.S. 

Their solutions include teleschool, a way to disinfect a whole classroom at a time and the old standby: If you’re sick, stay home.

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