First COVID-19 related death in Sedgwick County confirmed, hospitals preparing for surge


The Sedgwick County Commission confirmed the first COVID-19 related death in the county. 

The patient, a man over the age of 60 who had underlying health conditions, died yesterday. He had a history of travel and was tested positive last week and hospitalized due to the virus.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of this individual,” Chairman Pete Meitzner said in the news release that was sent out earlier today. “Our deepest condolences go out to his friends, family, and loved ones. As we navigate through rough waters together, I find myself grateful to serve such a resilient community.

According to the Wichita Eagle, a relative had first posted the news on social media. They said that the man was walking and talking like normal, and then was on a ventilator in life support within 24-hours. 

At the county’s daily COVID-19 news briefing today, Meitzner said that hospitals are expecting a greater surge in numbers.

“The hospitals are preparing for a surge that might happen anywhere from April 17 to May 9,” Meitzner said. “They are in great preparation to try to handle that.”

Meitzner said that in the meantime, the county needs everyone to stay in their homes. 

“We really need people to stay away from each other,” he said.

As of noon today, there are 143,527 positive cases of COVID-19 in the country. Cases in Kansas are currently at 368, according to the state health department. Sedgwick County currently has 49 confirmed cases, with 24 testing appointments scheduled for today.