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Johnson County shares results of first round of random coronavirus testing

Coronavirus in Kansas

OLATHE, Kan. (WDAF) – Johnson County’s health director says results from the first round of random testing are “pretty good.”

Very few, if any, people who tested positive didn’t have symptoms. Of the nine people who tested positive, seven definitely had symptoms. Health officials are still waiting on reports from the other two individuals.

In all, 371 people were tested, and 330 test results were immediately available. The nine positive tests represent less than 3% of those tested.

Unlike most testing being done on at-risk populations or people with symptoms, Johnson County wanted to get a better gauge of the virus in the overall community.

The county plans to do random testing three more times over the next six weeks to help determine when it might be safe to lift the stay-at-home order.

The next steps include conducting broader testing of essential service workers not involved in health care.

“Those are the people that have been out there keeping us going. They are the delivery drivers. They are the drive-thru restaurant workers. They are the people working in our grocery stores,” JCDHE Director Dr. Sanmi Areola said.

On Tuesday, Johnson County also unveiled its public dashboard tracking the virus.

It breaks down the more than 300 cases by gender, race and zip code. It shows 96 of those who have tested positive are in the hospital, 33 are in intensive care, including near equal representation among age groups 40 and above.

“I hope what you can take away from this dashboard is this disease really can affect us all, and we need to ensure that we are continuing to stay at home to really prevent the spread of this disease,” JCDHE epidemiologist Elizabeth Holzschuh said.

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