A third case of the coronavirus has been confirmed in Cowley County, and health officials now are warning that the disease may be spreading in the community.

And that concern could lead to keeping social distancing restrictions in place longer.

The person was identified as a young woman with no previous illness and who lives and works in Cowley County.

“This specific case is especially concerning as it is the first true case that demonstrates the capacity of the illness infecting a previously healthy person,” public health officer Thomas Langer said in a Monday morning press release. “The patient had shown no symptoms and was previously interacting in the community in a normal fashion, including going to work, shopping and taking are of other necessary actives, including medical appointments for children.”

The woman’s husband works out of town and had been freely traveling until this point, the release added.

A disease investigation is under way, and all close contacts of the patient have been notified and are quarantined. Some close family members are being tested and all close contacts are being monitored for any changes in health conditions.

“Everybody currently exposed by close contact is quarantined and will remain in isolation until the illness has passed,” Langer said.

The third case serves as a warning that COVID-19 is present in the community and people should follow the stay-at-home order, he added.

Langer had told the public that Cowley County might begin to return to normal if the statewide stay-at-home order expired after May 3, but that now appears in doubt.

The first case was detected nearly a month ago, and the man has since died. The second case was a woman who contracted the illness from a relative in Oklahoma, according to the health department.

“This new case, along with other outbreaks occurring in rural counties in the state, certainly casts doubt upon the ‘return to normal’ occurring quickly as many have been hoping for,” Langer said. “Sadly, it appears that we still have a long way to go before we will be past this initial outbreak period.”

The health department reports 165 tests have been done in Cowley County, with 162 negative and three positive results.

State figures

Statewide, 154 new coronavirus cases were reported in Kansas on Monday for a total of 3,328, according to state public health officials. Kansas now has surpassed Oklahoma in number of confirmed cases.

There have been 120 virus-related deaths in Kansas, 496 hospitalizations and 23,839 negative tests, which means about 12.3 percent of tests come out positive.

The testing rate is now 9.33 tests done per 1,000 residents; in Cowley County it is 4.3 tests per 1,000 residents, according to state figures. The highest testing rates are in Ford and Seward counties, where many more tests are being done to protect against outbreaks at meat-packing plants.

Those two counties also now have among the highest number of known cases, Ford at 516 and Seward at 316. 

Around Cowley County, Butler County is up to 14 cases, Sumner and Chautauqua counties both remained at three cases. Elk County remained at zero cases. Sedgwick County now has 339 cases, just one more than Sunday.

Kay County, Okla., has remained steady in recent days with 47 cases, and six deaths. Osage County is up to 72 cases and eight deaths.

Total cases in Oklahoma on Monday reached 3,280, up 27 cases from Sunday. There were two additional deaths for 197 total; there have been 656 hospitalizations.

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(6) comments

Newspaper

We don't close or "lockdown" the state for other health issues. Reaction to the coronavirus has been blown way out of proportion!!

no

no you are stupid to think this. we have not done enough for coronavirus. why do you think we have shut down schools and are quarantined? because we haven’t done enough.

Probitybionicwoman

I feel we need to open everything up and let this spread speed up to get out over with! It is survival of the fittest!! Why prolong the spread and stretch out the lockdown orders when it keeps spreading anyway??? Other states have opened up businesses and who says they won’t come to our state, then shop in our store, give it to us while we are out shopping in the store too, and then what’s the whole point of the it all???

Probitybionicwoman

The coronavirus is going to spread regardless, and the longer we prolong people going back to work, the longer people and the economy will suffer from no income/work. In my opinion we need to just get it over with. There won’t be a vaccine for 18-24 months anyway, so we miswell keep our immune systems healthy and be ‘FREE’ from all the lockdown.

A resident

Let’s explain the survival of the fittest to the children of a widower, as their father is dying from the virus, or to a parent who loses a child (less frequent, but still possible). Or bring it up in a eulogy for someone you know... that would be dreadful, right?Consider those who work in EMS, hospital, and healthcare services, dealing with the outcomes of this horrible virus multiplied by people’s stupidity and ignorance of sensible warnings of this danger.

50k people died in the USA in a few weeks. This is not called survival of the fittest, but a global tragedy. Don’t be mislead by the low numbers in KS, look at NYC, or read international news and see how Johnson’s “herd immunity” plan panned out (UK). This is hurting everyone and being jobless is difficult, but losing dear ones is tragic, it’s not “survival of the fittest”.

Letting it go and spread would lead to a financial collapse too, a slow one, maybe, but it’s effects would be even longer. Think with your heart if logic fails.

Probitybionicwoman

Everyone will get this unless we provide masks for everyone which we can’t accommodate. I work in healthcare and love my residents with all I have, but we as an economy are going to go into a Great Depression and recession if we don’t open things back up. Why prolong this? To drag it out longer and watch the world suffer from loss of money because they can’t work? We need to let the spread just happen to get out over with. If you’re going to get it, you’re going to get it. Wear a mask if you are worried! There is a 1.5% chance of contacting the virus if EVERYONE wears a mask. I wear mine every single day! 😁💯

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