CLAY COUNTY — As of 4:15 p.m. Monday, March 30, the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Clay County residents is 33. Of those cases, 20 are Kansas City residents, which are reported by the Kansas City Health Department, and 13 are residents of elsewhere in the county and reported by Clay County Public Health Center. The total number of cases has climbed by four since Friday, March 27. There have been zero deaths to date of those infected.
Of the total infected, one is younger than 15, two are between the ages of 15 and 24, eight are between ages 25 and 44, 15 are between 45 and 64 years of age and seven are 65 or older.
As residents across the county attempt to stay updated on how far spread the virus is, many are asking the Courier-Tribune and each other to identify which cities those infected with the virus live in. Public Health Communications Specialist Kelsey Neth said there are a variety of reasons as to why a person's city of residence outside of Kansas City has not been reported to date, including how quickly and widely spread the virus is.
“We don't want to give people a false sense of hope of it not being where they are. It's widespread, it's everywhere,” she said Monday, adding there has been some hysteria and fear circulating about how at risk a person is if he or she uses a gas pump or visits a store someone who may be infected also used or visited.
“If you worked at that store or someone got sick who was your co-worker and you worked in close proximity, that may be different, but just because someone who may have it was at that same gas station as you or used that pump doesn't necessarily mean you also will have it,” she said. “... It's mainly spread when people are coughing or sneezing.”
To keep themselves and others safe, Neth said the key is social distancing, staying at home and proper hygiene habits that include properly washing hands for 20 seconds.
“It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” states a release on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.