The First Case of Coronavirus In Kansas Is Confirmed In Johnson County

The First Case of Coronavirus In Kansas Is Confirmed In Johnson County
The First Case of Coronavirus In Kansas Is Confirmed In Johnson County

TOPEKA, Kansas — Kansas has its first case of the new coronavirus, officials announced Saturday. 

The woman infected with the virus appears to have contracted while traveling away from her home in Johnson County, Gov. Laura Kelly said at a Statehouse news conference surrounded by state public health officials. She was tested earlier this week for COVID-19. 

Although the woman marks the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Kansas, she was among 80 people in Kansas being monitored for the infection, mostly because they were traveling abroad.

Kansas health officials said earlier this week that the state’s lab could test up to 60 samples a day and have results back in a few hours. The new case comes as the United States is seeing an increasing number of confirmed cases as testing ramps up. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s U.S. count is more than 150 cases in about half of U.S. states, with more than 10 deaths; The New York Times reported more than 350 cases with 19 deaths. COVID-19 has sickened more than 105,000 people worldwide, and more than 3,500 people have died. 

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and trouble breathing. The symptoms are usually mild, though more severe symptoms may include pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

Federal and state health officials say the best ways to prevent getting sick from the virus are to thoroughly wash your hands, cover your coughs and stay home from work or school if you are sick.

KDHE has a website dedicated to information about COVID-19.

Kelly and other state officials cautioned against panic and said the general public should take the advice that applies to any flu season: Wash your hands and cough into your elbow.

Jim McLean is the senior correspondent for the Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy. You can reach him on Twitter @jmcleanks or email jim (at) kcur (dot) org.

Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to


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