3rd COVID-19 case confirmed in county
Just three days after announcing Marion County's first confirmed case of COVID-19, county health nurse Diedre Serene announced a second case Friday and a third case Sunday.
Officials are not releasing any of the patients' names or hometowns.
The first patient is a woman age 20 to 44 who has traveled. The second patient is a man age 45 to 54. The third is a woman age 55 to 64. No information on the latter patients' travel was released.
Officials emphasized that they were contacting people who might have been exposed.
“We will be monitoring contacts for fever and respiratory symptoms,” Serene said.
Unconfirmed reports indicated that one person exposed to one of the victims has quarantined himself in a heated shed adjacant to his farmhouse.
At least two people suspected of suffering from COVID-19 were transferred to Wichita hospitals Friday night -- one via air ambulancefrom Hillsboro Community Hospital and the other via county ambulance from St. Luke Hospital, Marion.
Local health providers conduct COVID-19 tests and send specimens to Kansas Department of Health and Environment or a private laboratory for anaylsis.
“The availability of testing equipment nationally is at a low level,” Serene said. “However, our community currently has kits available. Testing is done based on criteria.”
Anyone with symptoms should contact his or her health care provider by telephone. They should not simply show up at a medical facility. Symptoms include cough, tightness of chest or trouble breathing, and fever of 100.4 or higher, Serene said. If a person has difficulty breathing, he or she should call 911 instead.
“I would like to encourage people to practice social distancing,” Serene said. “Follow the governor’s stay-at-home order.”
Social distancing means being no closer than six feet from anyone else for periods of 10 minutes or more and not attending any gathering of more than 10 people. Other precautions include frequently washing hands with soap for 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
People who cough or sneeze are being urged to cover their mouth not with their hand but with their sleeve or inner elbow. Not shaking hands and frequently cleaning surfaces that are often touched also is recommended.