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Coronavirus cases 'acquired locally' in Johnson County

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Posted at 9:01 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 22:02:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Six of 11 novel coronavirus cases in Johnson County, Kansas, were “acquired locally,” according to the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.

“This indicates that coronavirus is circulating in our community and not only coming in from other regions,” JCDHE said in a news release.

To help “lessen the spread” of COVID-19, JCDHE Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster ordered school closures, along with the closure of “restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs and movie theaters for 15 days.” Carry-out, delivery and drive-thru services are exempt, according to the release.

LeMaster also initiated a 10-person limit to public gatherings.

In a separate release, Jackson County, Missouri, Johnson County, Kansas, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas, also noted that COVID-19 is “circulating” in the metro.

Jackson County Executive Frank White Jr. said in the release that it is important for residents to “understand that the coronavirus is in our community.”

“While the metro area may be divided by city, county and state lines, the spread of COVID-19 will not be deterred by them,” White said. “We must respond to this disease as a region and take the necessary steps to slow its spread and protect our neighbors regardless of where they call home.”

Those with “mild symptoms,” such as a fever or cough are asked to self-isolate for at least one week after symptoms began “or for 72 hours after symptoms are gone.” People with “more severe symptoms” should contact a health care provider, according to the release.

“Individuals who have mild symptoms should not expect to be tested at this time,” the release stated.