Kansas City reports first two coronavirus cases, state announces first death

Lucas Cuni-Mertz

The first confirmed cases of COVID-19 hit Kansas City today.  

A woman in her 40s and a man in his 30s have tested positive for the virus, the Kansas City Health Department announced.

The Health Department is investigating whether those the man and woman have been in contact with are showing symptoms and should be tested or isolated. Both individuals are isolated in their homes. The cases appear to be unrelated. 

“We knew it was only a matter of time before one of our residents would learn they had COVID-19,” KCMO Director of Health Dr. Rex Archer said. “With viruses, there are no borders. Everyone in the Kansas City metro area must be on guard. Leave your home only when absolutely necessary.”

The cases come on the same day Missouri announced its first COVID-19 death: a patient in their 60s in Columbia who had recently traveled abroad. The state is up to 24 total cases.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has strengthened his State of Emergency Proclamation, banning all gatherings of more than 10 attendees. The policy will be reevaluated on April 1. 

“This shows the virus is spreading throughout our community,” said Lucas. “We know there will be more cases, but to reduce the spread I urge all residents to practice social distancing and to stay home except for essential needs.” 

The coronavirus is now in all 50 states, totaling over 7,760 cases nationwide and 140 deaths.