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Missouri, Kansas leaders prepare for possible Midwest coronavirus outbreak

Posted at 12:53 PM, Feb 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-27 18:41:53-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Leaders in Missouri and Kansas are preparing for a possible COVID-19 outbreak.

The disease, also known as coronavirus, has spread to the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it believes coronavirus will eventually reach pandemic status.

On Thursday, Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran tweeted that he'd met with one of the state's top health officials.

Moran and Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman discussed the state's "preparedness to protect against a potential coronavirus outbreak," according to Moran's tweet.

Norman followed up with a tweet saying the meeting was very productive, and his department is "watching out for Kansas and the Nation!"

On Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will provide the newly formed Special Committee on Disease Control and Prevention with its response to coronavirus.

Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams will present his department's preventative measures and response plan in a public forum.

Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr said in a news release Thursday that he "believes Missourians deserve to know the steps that have been taken and the proactive approach Dr. Williams and DHSS are utilizing to combat the coronavirus in our state.”

Rep. Jon Patterson, a Republican from Lee's Summit and board-certified general surgeon, will chair the new Special Committee. A pair of Democrats from Kansas City, Missouri, Ashley Bland Manlonve and Rasheen Aldridge, are among the four Democrats on the 11-member committee.

The public forum will take place at 1:30 p.m. in House Hearing Room 5 in Jefferson City.

There have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus reported in either Kansas or Missouri.

For more information and answers to commonly asked questions about coronavirus, click here.