A patient who first sought medical attention in Emporia tested negative for the coronavirus Wednesday, according to a statement from Stormont Vail Health.

The Emporia outpatient was one of three people tested after Stormont Vail Health determined they showed signs of having contracted the virus. The other two patients were from Shawnee County.

“Our team did exactly what they have been trained to do,” Stormont Vail Health President and CEO Robert Kenagy said. “These negative results are good news for our community and allowed our team to review the processes in place to continue to prepare for when the virus makes it’s way to our region.”

The World Health Organization officially classified coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) as a pandemic Wednesday, with more than 120,000 infections reported worldwide and at least 1,000 positive cases in the United States as of press time.

The news came shortly after WIBW reported that three people in Topeka, including one who first arrived at a Stormont Vail Health clinic in Emporia, were being tested for the respiratory illness.

Stormont Vail confirmed the news to The Emporia Gazette via written release.

“Our team responded appropriately by placing the patients in an isolation room and utilizing protective equipment such as the Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR), gloves and gowns,” read the Stormont Vail statement.

“Our health system has worked diligently to prepare for COVID-19 at Stormont Vail Health,” Kenagy said in the release. “Our team followed the training provided and performed exactly as they should. I am even more confident that when a positive case comes to Stormont Vail and Shawnee County, our teams will follow our protocols to provide high-quality care.”

The Flint Hills Community Health Center said it was also monitoring the situation.

“It is our practice to follow KDHE protocol and not to report Person Under Investigation (PUI) in order to protect the confidentiality of the patients being tested,” FHCHC CEO and Lyon County Health Officer Renee Hively said in a written release.

“As with any respiratory illness we recommended universal precautions to minimize the spread of disease,” the release continued. “These include washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, cover your mouth when you cough, avoid touching your face, mouth and eyes and staying home when you are sick. It is recommended you stay home for 24 hours fever free without fever reducing medications. Currently, our community partners are working together to help monitor the health of our community. Everyone has a part to play in reducing the spread of the novel COVID-19 virus.”

Lyon County Emergency Manager Jarrod Fell said people should “avoid large social gatherings as another way to reduce your chance of exposure to any illness.”

Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, shortness of breath and breathing problems. Concerned individuals should seek medical help right away, calling ahead to their primary care providers before going to an emergency room. Patients presenting to Stormont Vail or a Cotton O’Neil Clinic should call 785-354-6000 before arriving. If this is a medical emergency, call 911.

Kansas announced its first presumptive positive case of COVID-19 in a Johnson County woman under the age of 50 Saturday during a press conference. As of Wednesday, the patient is doing well. To date, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment lists 41 negative coronavirus tests have been performed. Positive tests results are reported on KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/publicupdate/COVID-19_March_11_2020.pdf.

For more information about COVID-19 visit www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus or www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

For information about local response, visit www.flinthillshealth.org.

(9) comments


I sure can't understand the toilet paper hoarding thing either. If folks are that scared of not being able to wipe their butts, they are totally missing what this virus is all about. If this thing were to go epidemic, having a slightly dirty butt won't be folks main problem.

Out Of Here Prev: SnowGypsy

Per something I read on a psychological website, hoarding of the toilet paper gives them a feeling of control. Yes, seriously, and no, I really don't get it. Maybe first there was a facial tissue shortage or their noses prefer toilet paper??? Always a chance that they are so misinformed/confused that they aren't sure which end they will be wiping?


I dont understand the toilet paper hoarding are people planning to be mummies or something and is that why there is an shortage?

Out Of Here Prev: SnowGypsy

That is good news, but I continue to wonder how this may impact the GBO next month as many come from out of town, out of state, etc. to Emporia.


The only way you’ll live till June is to go out and mass hoard all the cleaning supplies you can get so no one else can get any!!!

Or wait, have you already done that and you’re the reason I can’t get a single bottle of 409 to clean the splatter off the floor from my 3 year old learning to use the toilet.

Come on people. It’s not the plague. Yes, take precautions, but stop freaking out.

Out Of Here Prev: SnowGypsy

I agree. The real problem is that right now, the media has limited topics. It says in the article that the criteria for testing is fever, cough and the person had been to the State of Washington. Could be the flu or just the common cold. Many are reported to test positive and show no symptoms. Anyone with a suppressed immune system should take extra precautions, but honestly, with all the crap that goes around today, basic precautions that have been suggested should always be observed.

I, too, noticed the shortage of cleaning products when trying to get just my regular one item of something because I was running out.


Lowe’s, Sutherland’s or any building supply place still have plenty. Get the potty light for him to aim better.😂




Does anyone have an update on this issue. I would like to live to at least June.

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