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Kansas Governor Announces First Death in the State from Coronavirus

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly speaks with secretaries Lee Norman and Laura Howard. (Photo by Jim McLean, Kansas News Service)

A man in his 70s who lived in a long-term care facility in Wyandotte County is the first known death from the new coronavirus in Kansas, state officials said Thursday night. The man was not among the state's official count of cases, which had risen to four earlier in the day. 

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly also has declared a state of emergency, which gives the government more power to marshal resources and triggers the state's response plan.

The man was admitted to Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, on Tuesday and died Wednesday morning. A postmortem test found the COVID-19 virus.

Health officials believe that he was infected by someone who came into the long-term care facility, which would mean it's the first confirmed case of local transmission. That means the virus is circulating in the community.

Relatively few COVID-19 cases have been identified in Kansas compared with other states. 

COVID-19 usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, like a fever or cough. Most people with mild symptoms recover in two weeks. More severe cases, found in older adults and people with health issues, can have up to six weeks’ recovery time. 

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Jim McLean is the senior correspondent for the Kansas News Service. You can reach him on Twitter @jmcleanks.  The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of Kansas Public Radio, KCUR, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio - focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy. 

 

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