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Kansas governor: No confirmed coronavirus cases

Posted at 4:22 PM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 17:22:08-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Kansas, according to Gov. Laura Kelly.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Kelly said that the few Kansans who had “undergone precautionary testing” all tested negative.

Kansas also is one of the first states to have a lab certified to test for COVID-19, Kelly said. That has cut down testing time from days to hours.

The overall risk to Kansans, she said, “remains low.”

But Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environments, said it is “just a matter of time” until there is a positive case in Kansas.

And though the virus itself might be new, Norman said how to manage it is not, noting that the 2009 H1N1 outbreak and 2014 Ebola outbreak followed many of the same processes and procedures.

KDHE, according to Kelly, has “regular calls” with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and also is in “regular contact” with local hospitals and health care providers.

While Kelly said that KDHE is mindful of the “potential economic impact” coronavirus could have on businesses, she reiterated that the risk of contracting it “remains low.”

Good hygiene practices and staying home if feeling ill are preventive measures citizens should continue to take.

“It sounds simple and it is, but it’s also effective,” Kelly said.

Norman said that he believes the United States is about one month behind Europe in terms of the number of cases.

KDHE also launched a COVID-19 online resource center, which is available online.