Lawrence area patient tests negative for coronavirus strain

A patient from the Lawrence, Kansas, area who was being tested for the novel 2019 coronavirus strain is not infected with the virus, according to an announcement Saturday by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Negative results were received Saturday after testing was performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are pleased that test results were negative and that the patient remains in good health. He had been released from LMH Health and was in a monitored, isolated living space following CDC guidelines,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE secretary, said in a news release. “He will now be able to resume his normal routine, and there is no risk to the public.”

KDHE continues to work with CDC and local partners to detect and respond to any possible cases that might occur in Kansas in the future. In this instance, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department played a key role in assisting the state, according to the KDHE.

“Local, state and federal public health partners plan, prepare and drill for these types of events,” Dr. Farah Ahmed, KDHE state epidemiologist, said. “Our health care and public health infrastructure works hard every day to protect the public from infectious and contagious diseases, and we learn from these responses so we can continue to improve.”

Coronavirus infections initially were diagnosed in Wuhan City, China, and have since been reported in travelers from this city to other locations in China and other countries including the United States. No cases have been confirmed in Kansas.

At this time of year, respiratory illnesses are most likely due to infection with influenza or other viruses that cause the common cold. It’s important to take precautions to be protected from these infections, including washing one’s hands, avoiding touching one’s face and getting an annual flu shot.

Persons who recently traveled to Hubei Province, China, and developed fever with respiratory symptoms within 14 days of their travel, or have had contact with someone who is suspected to have 2019 novel coronavirus, should stay home and call their health care provider, according to the KDHE. For additional information on the 2019 novel coronavirus, visit the website at For more information about 2019 novel coronavirus, visit CDC’s website at

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