May 18, 2020 4:38 PM

Case count in Harvey County now 15; 4 active

Posted May 18, 2020 4:38 PM

NEWTON, Kan. — The Harvey County Health Department has confirmed its 15th case of coronavirus, or COVID-19, in Harvey County.

The confirmed case is a woman in her 40s. The woman is in home isolation. Testing was completed by a private lab. The case remains under investigation. The Health Department will regularly monitor the individual, as well as follow up on all contacts.

As of Friday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 7,886 cases of COVID-19 in Kansas. That number does not include this new Harvey County case. Harvey County has had 15 total cases, including 11 confirmed and four probable cases. Of the 15 cases, 11 individuals have met recovery criteria.

The KDHE recently began including probable cases in its county case counts. At this time, the KDHE does not include two probable Harvey County cases in the State’s counts because of the KDHE’s testing standards for older tests. However, Harvey County includes them in its counts.

The KDHE reported 61,488 people tested in the state as of Friday. There have been 494 individuals tested in Harvey County.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has issued the State’s guidance for reopening, “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The state began Phase 1.5 of the guidance today. The plan in its entirety can be found at

The KDHE has a phone hotline available to answer questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 at 1-866-534-3463.

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May 18, 2020 4:38 PM
Facility in Kan. will create 300 jobs, help COVID-19 testing

JOHNSON COUNTY — Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced Monday it has received a contract from the U.S. government to provide highly specialized viral transport media (VTM) for COVID-19 sample collection.

According to a media release, the VTM is used during collection of patient samples for proper transport to laboratories that can test for the presence of the virus.

To ensure accuracy of COVID-19 test results, VTM must be manufactured and dispensed into tubes in an aseptic environment. Thermo Fisher currently produces VTM at its site in Lenexa, Kansas, which meets this requirement, and has ramped production from 50,000 to more than one million VTM-filled tubes per week.

Given the significant demand for COVID-19 testing and associated sample collection, Thermo Fisher will expand capacity in Lenexa with a new $40 million facility dedicated to VTM production and quality control. The added capacity and increased efficiencies will allow the company to scale production to more than eight million VTM-filled tubes per week.

The company plans to complete the new Lenexa facility in Q3 and expects that it will create approximately 300 new full-time jobs.

"Our production ramp-up in Lenexa has been impressive and our employees deserve recognition for their ingenuity and dedication to making this happen," said Marc N. Casper, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We have a proven blueprint for high-quality VTM production in Lenexa and look forward to bringing significant new capacity on line as quickly as possible to continue the necessary testing ramp-up in the U.S."

Casper added, "We're proud of our role in helping customers to battle the pandemic. With our leading scale and depth of capabilities, Thermo Fisher can support virtually every aspect of the COVID-19 response, which demonstrates what it means to be the world leader in serving science."