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Local teenager tests positive for coronavirus, officials say she exposed others at a public pool

Coronavirus in Kansas
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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The health department says a 14-year-old girl who splits residence between parents in Sedgwick and Cowley counties went to a public swimming pool and took part in a sleepover while she was waiting for her coronavirus test result to come in.

Thomas Langer, the Cowley County public health officer, is trying to get the message to the people of Arkansas City where the exposure happened.

He says the girl was experiencing symptoms of illness Friday, June 5. Her mother in Sedgwick County took her to be tested at a private clinic. The test was sent for processing at the clinic’s contracted private laboratory.

The positive test result came back Wednesday, June 10. It has been shared with both the Sedgwick and the Cowley County health departments.

During the week of June 7, the girl was in Arkansas City to visit her other parent.

Langer says she interacted socially with friends and the community-at-large, including at the public pool on June 10.

He says the girl also participated in a sleepover, possibly exposing her friends.

Langer says this social activity has likely exposed several people to COVID-19 in the Arkansas City community.

“The failure to heed the instructions and warnings of public health guidance and medical instructions is evidenced here,” he wrote in a news release. “A person who is tested MUST remain quarantined with family members until such time as the results are known. This did not happen.”

Langer says the community is upset. He says he’s seeing reactions on social media and in calls to the health department.

Families that believe they may have been exposed are required to isolate themselves at home for the next 48 hours.

The Cowley County Health Department will have a drive-thru coronavirus testing lane, Monday, but it is by appointment only.

Call (620) 221-1430 to schedule the appointment.

The testing lane will be open from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. at the Winfield Health Department’s Office.

The testing is free. It will take two to three days to get test results.

If residents wish to contact their private health care providers for testing, they should do so.

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