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The number of positive testing results in Kansas continues to rise, but as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, Cowley County still has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

Locally 37 people have been tested. Thirty-one tests have returned a negative result, and six test results are still pending. 

The public health surveillance efforts to identify the coronavirus in Cowley County continue to be hampered by influenza-like illness and the spring allergy season. 

The health department is seeing a decline in the number of new cases of illness reported — a likely consequence of people heeding the call to stay home if they are sick. 

It remains imperative that we all work together to eliminate as much as possible flu-like illness so that we can better identify those people who may develop COVID-19 symptoms. 

Many medical facilities in the county have run critically short of personal protective equipment and have reached out for assistance. 

On Wednesday Cowley County received a limited number of items from the state. Those items are being distributed to local providers quickly to help them deal with patients. 

As medical suppliers restock their inventories, the health department is acquiring additional needed items to help meet the critical needs in the community. 

Throughout the response to the COVID-19 illness, the recommendations for testing have changed regularly as supplies become more limited. 

The most current recommendation, released on March 23 from KDHE, prioritizes testing criteria to a greater degree to ensure that those who are at the highest risk of serious complications can receive the testing. 

This does not mean that Kansas is not testing anyone for COVID-19. This topic has been included on the Coronavirus Rumor Control page found at www.cowleycounty.org/coronavirus-rumor-control

We ask the public to continue to follow the guidance given for self-isolation if you are feeling ill. 

During this time, please try to continue your efforts to social distance yourself and your family as well as continuing the basic hygiene procedures (hand washing, not touching your face, etc). These are the best ways to prevent the infection and to keep yourself and your family healthy. 

Thank you for your help during this time and stay well.

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