A woman who tested positive of the novel coronavirus was admitted to the University of Kansas Hospital Monday, March 9, hospital officials said in a news conference.
The woman is a Johnson County resident and the first confirmed case of the virus in Kansas. She is being held in a special unit of the hospital specifically designed for emerging viruses in order to protect the staff and other patients in the hospital from contracting the virus.
Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said the patient flew into Kansas City from a different town, but was only previously in contact with her immediate family, who are healthy and in voluntary quarantine.
The patient called the hospital before arriving and was immediately brought to the special unit without coming in contact with any other patients, according to a press release from the University of Kansas Health System.
“The patient did exactly as we’ve been asking the public to do to protect others,” the press release said.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of inpatient critical care and infectious diseases at the hospital, said the hospital staff regularly cares for patients with severe respiratory illnesses and other infectious diseases and they are following the same procedures as they would with other illnesses.
Hawkinson said the patient was put into a room with negative airflow to ensure the virus does not spread.
“Our main goal is the safety of our patients and our healthcare workers, so we have been [following these procedures] ever since the patient was brought here,” Hawkinson said. “It was a very smooth transition from getting the patient here to getting the patient to their room and since that time they’ve continued to be in the appropriate isolation.”
Hospital employees and patients are safe to come to the hospital for work and medical appointments, according to the hospital’s statement.
This story is developing. It will be updated as more information becomes available.