COVID-19 has reached the KC Metro. Here are some resources to add to your coronavirus cleaning kit

A health care worker holds up a test tube of blood ready for covid-19 testing
Photo credit Getty / photoguns
By KMBZ

Kansas City, MO - The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has begun to spread quickly across the US, popping up in ones and twos, and in larger groupings of people. 

COVID-19 has now appeared in the KC Metro for the first time.  So, what do we all do now?  The Kansas Department of Health has put together a coronavirus resource center on its website, and we'll look into those helpful tips further below. 

Overseas, from its beginning in China, we've seen this coronavirus explode in countries like South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy. 

And while the global fatality rate for this coronavirus is around 3.4%, it is less than its cousin viruses SARS (2002) and MERS (2012), 10% and 35% respectively.

Here is a great web tool to track and map where COVID-19 has spread.  FYI the numbers may increase faster than the tracker map can count.  

 

A Johnson County woman, under the age of 50, who had recently traveled in the Northeast US was the first reported case in the state of Kansas.  And there's most certainly to be more.

Health officials say the woman took appropriate action when she began showing symptoms - isolating herself, and calling her doctor's office first, before going in to be checked out.  She remained in self-isolation at home for a time. Then on Monday, doctors with the University of Kansas Health System said she was now admitted to KU Hospital, and briefed the public on their actions: 

The CDC has official guidance on how to handle the coronavirus for those that are at higher risk; and for the rest of us at home - at work - and guidance for school administrators.  

The CDC guidelines can be sometimes difficult to navigate on the website. There's a lot there. 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has put together some simple, yet thorough, guidelines, including some FAQ about the new virus disease that everyone can use. 

HAVE A PLAN

The health department suggests having a Family Action Plan It's very much like being prepared for a disaster, like a tornado.

  • Identify everyone who needs to be part of your plan and what his/her needs are. Create an emergency contact list.
  • Learn about the emergency plans at your family’s jobs and schools and plan for what you’ll do if a family member gets sick.
  • Encourage your whole family to practice preventive hygiene. 
  • Choose a room in your home that can be used to separate those who are sick from the rest of the household.

IF YOU BECOME ILL

  • Stay home except to get medical care - People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness. You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis.
  • Separate yourself from other people in your home. As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom if you can. Do not share personal household items like dishes, towels, bedding, or eating utensils.
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the provider’s office take steps to keep other people from being exposed.
  • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently, but especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands before eating or preparing food. If soap and water aren’t available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid touching your face. Clean high-touch surfaces everyday. 
  • Monitor your symptoms. Seek prompt medical attention if your symptoms or illness worsens.

 

In this age of social media memes and more, there's a lot of misinformation that can be spread rapidly about COVID-19.  The Kansas City Health Department is urging folks to get the facts, and only deal with the facts around the coronavirus. 

 

And if you have questions about COVID-19, the KDHE has a hotline to call.