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Larned State Hospital staff member dies of COVID-19 complications

A wing of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, shown Monday June 23, 1997, in...
A wing of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility, shown Monday June 23, 1997, in Larned, Kan. (AP Photo/Monty Davis)(MONTY DAVIS | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:33 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) announced Monday that one staff member at Larned State Hospital (LSH) died on Wednesday, October 15, due to complications from COVID-19. This is the first staff member at any of the four state hospitals to die due to the virus.

“I was saddened to learn of this news, and I extend my condolences to both the family and the rest of the hospital staff as they cope with this tragic loss,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Our civil servants have worked selflessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of those under their care. My administration will continue to support them by leveraging the resources and equipment needed to keep workers safe and limit the spread of the virus in high-risk areas.”

The staff member worked for LSH and the State of Kansas for more than three years. The staff member has not been on campus for several weeks and did not have contact with patients or residents. The hospital began screening all staff on March 27, 2020, monitoring temperatures upon entry into the facility and has been taking patient and resident temperatures twice a day since then. KDADS did not release the staff member’s identity.

“This is a sad time for our agency and for the dedicated staff at Larned State Hospital, a day we all hoped would never come,” said KDADS Secretary Laura Howard. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family we know is struggling with losing their loved one and our other hospital staffers mourning a co-worker.”

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