• Last modified 527 days ago (April 8, 2020)


Number of confirmed, suspected COVID-19 patients rising

Staff writer

To date, the county has three confirmed and three suspected patients with COVID-19.

The first confirmed patient, a female between ages 20 and 44 who has traveled, was announced by county health nurse Diedre Serene last Thursday. She announced the second confirmed patient, a male between the ages of 45 and 54, on Friday.

The health department is identifying, contacting, and monitoring people who were exposed to the virus in all three cases, Serene said.

Scanner transmissions recorded by the newspaper show two additional suspected COVID-19 patients were transferred to Wichita hospitals at 10:53 p.m. Friday and 12:27 a.m. Saturday.

Hillsboro Community Hospital sent an intubated patient suspected of having COVID-19 by a LifeTeam airplane to Wesley Hospital in Wichita. Hillsboro ambulance took the patient to the airport and the plane lifted off at 12:39 a.m. Saturday.

At 12:27 a.m. Saturday, St. Luke Hospital in Marion sent a patient suspected of having COVID-19 to Via Christi – St. Francis Hospital in Wichita by helicopter.

On Monday evening a Goessel resident who was known to have been exposed to COVID-19 and was showing symptoms was taken to Newton Medical Center by Hillsboro ambulance.

“The availability of testing equipment nationally is at a low level, however, our community currently has kits available,” Serene said. “Testing is done based on criteria.”

Anyone with symptoms should contact their health care provider before showing up at their clinic or hospital. Symptoms include dry cough, tightness of chest or trouble breathing, and fever of 100.4 or higher, Serene said. If they have difficulty breathing, they should call 911, she said.

A website accessible to the public allows people to check and see how well others in the area are maintaining social distancing.

That can be found at

Last modified April 8, 2020