Rooks County Health Center (RCH) is reporting that an employee has tested positive for to the novel coronavirus which can cause COVID-19.

On Tuesday, April14 an RCH employee began feeling unwell during their shift even though the employee had no symptoms when they went through the screening protocol when they arrived for work.

The staff member reported symptoms as soon as they developed and was screened again with a second temperature check. Due to the symptoms and a change in their temperature, a culture was taken by a swab test and sent to a private lab for analysis. After the test was administered, the staffer went home per RCH protocol and proactively began self- quarantining.

The swab test sent to the diagnostic lab came back as positive. Fortunately, this specific test came back in a very short period of time which allowed contact tracing to be initiated promptly.

Every RCH employee who had significant contact with the staffer has been notified and they are taking additional safety steps. Significant contact is defined as being closer than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes.

AJ Thomas, CEO of Rooks County Health Center stated “We knew that this day would come and we have been prepared for weeks on how to handle just such a situation. We have a great system in place and the hospital continues to operate in a safe manner for patients and staff”.

If you develop respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath and fever) you should notify your primary care physician or call the RCH COVID-19 Hotline at 785-688-4449.

For further information, go to the RCH website at

Thomas emphasized that there is no need for panic. Everyone should use common sense, maintain social distancing and stay informed through reliable and scientific based information. And don’t forget to wash your hands.