Harvey County confirms first COVID-19 case

For Newton Now

The Harvey County Health Department is confirming its first presumptive-positive case of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Harvey County.

The case was identified through testing at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will verify results, but the case is treated as confirmed unless determined otherwise.

The confirmed case is a Harvey County man in his 20s. The individual is in home isolation. The Health Department and KDHE will regularly monitor the individual, as well as follow up on all contacts.

“Our local health partners have prepared for a confirmed case as a ‘when,’ not an ‘if.’ We have been practicing and reviewing our COVID-19 preparedness steps for several weeks,” said Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington. “All of our organizations were able to follow through with correct procedures to ensure the safety of the individual and local staff.”

Redington encouraged county residents to continue to practice good hygiene techniques, such as hand washing, coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue and reducing physical interactions. Those that feel ill should stay home and contact their medical provider to discuss symptoms.

As of this morning, the KDHE had confirmed 168 cases of COVID-19 in Kansas, not including the case in Harvey County. The first confirmed case in the state was identified in Johnson County on March 7.

The KDHE has a phone hotline available to answer questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 at 1-866-534-3463. Resources are also available at www.govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus.

More information will be reported as it becomes available.