KCMO officials: ‘Aware and monitoring’ COVID-19 developments

KCMO officials discuss coronavirus.png
Posted at 9:36 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 23:02:33-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, still doesn’t have a confirmed case of COVID-19, but city officials believe it’s only a matter of time.

State health officials in Kansas and Missouri announced the first “presumptive-positive” test results for COVID-19 patients in each state within a few hours Saturday evening.

Mayor Quinton Lucas, KCMO Health Department Director Dr. Rex Archer and KCMO Emergency Medical Services Medical Director Dr. Erica Carney released a joint statement Saturday after COVID-19 cases were announced in Johnson County, Kansas, and St. Louis County, Missouri:

We are aware of and monitoring developments in St. Louis and in Johnson County, Kansas. While we do not yet have confirmed cases in Kansas City, we know we may have them in the future. Our Health Department is leading our preparation and is working closely with several other city health departments across the nation. Additionally, cities and counties across our state are working together to share information and we will keep working with our regional partners to keep the public safe.
Joint statement from KCMO officials

KCMO officials urge anyone who suspects he or she might be infected with COVID-19 to call “your doctor by phone before trying to get tested for this new virus” rather than going to a hospital emergency room.

“While more testing kits are on the way, we do not want to overwhelm local doctors and emergency rooms,” Carney said in a statement on the city’s website. "Keep in mind that most people who get sick will recover fully if they stay home, rest, drink fluids and take appropriate over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms.”

The best ways to avoid contracting coronavirus involve the same approach to avoiding most communicable disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid touching your face, specifically your eyes and nose and mouth.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing.
  • Maintain personal distance in face-to-face interactions.
  • Stay home if you feel sick.

“The latest news reminds all of us to continue with prevention techniques,” the joint statement from Lucas, Archer and Carney said. “Remember to wash your hands, cover coughs, stay home if you are sick and greet friends without shaking hands.”

City officials are posting COVID-19 updates online and also encourage concerned citizens to sign up for mobile alerts by texting “COVID” to 888777.