There have been no cases of the coronavirus in Kansas and the risk remains low, but Riley County Health Department officials are planning ahead in case of a future outbreak.
Health department officials provided information and tips Thursday about the illness to the Riley County Commission.
“We are still low risk,” said Julie Gibbs, health department director.
Andrew Adams, public health emergency preparedness coordinator at the health department, reviewed the county’s isolation and quarantine response guidelines.
“The processes and protocols that we’ve been discussing with different partners are already established,” Adams said.
If someone is infected, Adams said the department would coordinate efforts with Ascension Via Christi Hospital to determine how to handle a quarantine.
He said the department wants to do a “less restrictive approach,” meaning that a person would be quarantined at home unless he or she needed to be hospitalized.
Gibbs said it is best to wash hands frequently.
In addition, the health department is still offering the flu shot to the public.
“It’s never too late to get the flu shot,” Gibbs said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 15 people in the United States who tested positive for the coronavirus so far this year.
Earlier this month, a man quarantined in Lawrence Memorial Hospital tested negative for coronavirus.
As of Thursday, around 45,000 people have been affected around the world and more than 1,100 people have died.
Most of the cases have been found in China.
Chinese officials believe the virus originated in the central city of Wuhan in December.
The virus spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms, including fever, cough, runny nose and difficulty breathing, typically appear within two to 14 days after exposure.