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Johnson County, Kansas, Reports Its First Death From Coronavirus

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Johnson County, Kansas, has logged its first fatality from the coronavirus, according to officials with the county's health department.

The victim is a man in his 70s who had underlying health conditions, said Barbara Mitchell, a spokeswoman for the department. The man was being treated at a Johnson County hospital. Mitchell declined to say which hospital or release further details.

In a news release, Dr. Sanmi Areola, the Johnson County Health Department Director, said the victim had no history of travel. Areola also urged residents to follow best practices for limiting the spread of coronavirus: "Work from home, if possible, wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently and stay home when you are sick." 

The county has now tallied 26 total cases, including the fatality. The death brings the state total to two, alongside a man in his 70s who died last week in Wyandotte County.

Including the two deaths, KDHE statistics released Saturday morning tallied 55 confirmed cases in Kansas (an additional case listed by the Johnson County health department appears to make it 56). The state reported 13 cases in Wyandotte County.

Chris Haxel is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email him at chaxel@kcur.org, and follow him on Twitter @ChrisHaxel.

As a reporter covering military and veterans’ affairs, I tell the stories of current and former service members and their families. I hold the government, elected officials and others responsible when they break their promises. And I explore how Americans can best uphold our commitments to those who serve.
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