KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Wyandotte County.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, made the announcement Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases in the county to three.
These are the first new cases since a man in his 70s died March 11 and tested positive for COVID-19 after his death.
He was taken by ambulance from Life Care Center of Kansas City to Providence Medical Center on March 10 and remains the only confirmed death to date in the Kansas City area from COVID-19.
The new cases involve a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 50s.
Both patients were tested at separate local hospitals after being admitted for care.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed the positive tests late Monday night.
Both patients have been released and are self-isolating at home in accordance with guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We are relieved that both patients are well enough to have been released from the hospital and wish them each a speedy recovery,” KCK Mayor David Alvey said in a statement. “The Unified Government Public Health Department serving Wyandotte County will continue to conduct a contact investigation in these cases. This is a process where we retrace the patient’s steps and activities so that we can identify anyone who may have been potentially exposed to COVID-19.”
Alvey said the new cases highlight the importance of strong measures taken by the Unified Government and the rest of the Core 4 — Johnson County, Kansas, along with Kansas City, Missouri, and Jackson County — restricting schools, businesses and public gatherings in an attempt to control the spread of coronavirus.
“Two more cases are indicative of why the bar and restaurant ban is an important proactive step to limiting the transmission of COVID-19 and preventing an overload of our local health system,” Alvey said.
Many schools in the Kansas City area are closed until at least April 6, though the KCK School District has not yet announced whether it plans to do the same. Local officials also announced that all bars and restaurants are closed to the public except for delivery and drive-through service, while public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited for the next 15 days.
The Core 4 will re-evaluate these measures by April 1.
All citizens are encouraged to avoid large gatherings, practice social distancing and stay home when sick to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Washing your hands and covering your cough or sneeze remain the best way to prevent the disease’s transmission.
"Our objective in asking the public to follow these recommendations and learn more about the virus is to contain the spread of the virus and give our residents the information they need to minimize their exposure to it,” said Terrie Garrison, interim director of the Unified Government's Health Department. “Seeing additional cases of COVID-19 in our county is a call to action for all of us. It’s up to our community as a whole to reduce the spread and protect those most vulnerable to serious illness, including older adults and people with chronic health conditions.”