GIRARD — Crawford County Health Officer Rebecca Adamson announced the county’s first confirmed COVID-19 death at a special meeting of the county commission Monday, where officials also discussed Gov. Laura Kelly’s statewide “stay home” order issued Saturday, which supersedes a similar county order issued Friday.
“I am sad to have to report out that we have had our first death in Crawford County,” Adamson said.
The person who died from the novel coronavirus was a woman in her 40s, according to Adamson.
“She passed away at an area emergency room on Friday, and then they did the testing post-mortem and that did come back positive,” Adamson said. “So I’ve talked to Kansas Department of Health and Environment this morning. They’ve given me permission to discuss it.”
Adamson said that unlike at least one other patient who is being treated for COVID-19 in the area but does not reside in Crawford County, the woman who died is a county resident.
“We’re not going to give out any other information at this time, but the person did test positive for COVID-19 and we’re in the middle of the investigation right now. So we’ve actually contacted everyone that was in contact with this person though, we’re having them quarantined, so that brings our total cases to five,” she said.
“I also just want to express that the county officials, the health department want to express our deepest condolences to the family and our thoughts are with them,” Adamson said. “We’re very sad about the news of this person’s death.”
As of Monday, KDHE had reported eight deaths and 368 positive cases of COVID-19 statewide out of nearly 5,000 total test results. President Donald Trump has issued a major disaster declaration for Kansas and ordered additional federal assistance for the state.
On Friday, county commissioners issued an order with further restrictions on businesses and public activities beyond what they had approved earlier last week, but Gov. Kelly issued her own “stay home” executive order Saturday, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and supplants the county’s order.
“While this order is in effect no local jurisdiction shall issue or enforce any more or less restrictive ‘stay home’ or similar orders,” Kelly’s order states. “Local authorities retain any authority to issue or enforce isolation or quarantine orders.”
While many of the requirements of Kelly’s order — directing residents to stay home unless they need to leave for an “essential” reason and keeping in place an earlier order limiting gatherings to 10 people, for example — are similar to those of the county’s order approved Friday, the county’s order had been stricter in some aspects, limiting the number of customers at grocery and “big box” stores to 25 and 50 people at a time, respectively, for instance. Those requirements of the county order are no longer in place. Kelly’s order will remain in place until April 19 unless it is rescinded earlier.