JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. — A spokesperson for Johnson County confirmed Friday that there are eight new presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 bringing the total in the county to 24.
As of March 18, Johnson County is the only county in the metro with community spread, meaning the coronavirus is passed along among residents in the local population. However, state officials have said testing is limited, and Johnson County Health Department is not doing any testing themselves.
Health officials ask that not everyone try to come to the hospital if they are experiencing symptoms similar to that of COVID-19. If your symptoms are mild, they ask you stay home and self isolate. For people with severe symptoms or who are among more vulnerable populations, they ask they don’t show up to the hospital without calling first.
On Thursday the county commission acted to extend a prohibition on gatherings of more than 10 people to include faith-based activities, including weddings and funerals.
Up until now those gatherings had been exempted from the size limitation.
Because the epidemic has now been determined to be spreading through the community, the focus is on protecting the capacity of the health care system.
Public health workers will no longer spend time investigating positive cases. Instead, they will concentrate their efforts on protecting health care workers and first responders.
Private sector testing is helping take some burden off public health labs. Dr. LeMaster says the biggest problem has been the turnaround time on those tests.
Throughout the metro, the Area Transportation Authority has eliminated fares until the end of the month, including in Johnson County.