The first confirmed case of coronavirus in Kansas has been admitted to a special treatment unit for emerging infectious disease at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City, Kan., state and hospital officials said Monday.


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment confirmed the patient was the woman from Johnson County identified Saturday as the first case of COVID-19 diagnosed in Kansas. She likely contracted the virus while traveling on the East Coast. Her family has entered voluntary quarantine.


“We will have more cases in the state of Kansas,” said KDHE Secretary Lee Norman. “It’s going to be hard ... to contain it.”


He said Kansas health officials continued to track about 80 people with symptoms of the virus who emerged in China and spread to about half the world’s countries.


Physician Steve Stites, who is chief medical officer at the University of Kansas Health System, said the patient was in one of 38 negative-air flow rooms available at the hospital to treat patients and to shield staff and visitors from infectious diseases.


“We can tell you that the patient is doing well,” Stites said.


He said the public should neither panic nor engage in conduct that might endanger others. If concerned about personal health, he advised people to call their family physician or county health department. Call 911 when there is a sense for the need of emergency care, he said.


“It’s probably better to make a phone call than it is to go running into some place and try to immediately get care,” Stites said.


Dana Hawkinson, director of inpatient critical care for infectious diseases at KU Health System, said the hospital was informed in advance the female patient would be brought in for treatment. He said established hospital protocol and guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was adhered to.


People older than 50 or with underlying health challenges are most susceptible, he said.


Both KU doctors said the public should wash hands rigorously or use alcohol-based gel, avoid touching the face, cough into an elbow and wear a mask if ill. Isolation is the best approach if sick because there is no specific treatment for COVID-19 at this time.


“If you’re sick, stay home,” Stites said. “Here we are in the 21st century and we have high-speed internet and we can Google and find out anything in the world, but at the end of the day the thing that’s going to keep us safest is the things we learned in kindergarten.”


Norman, of the KDHE, said he wouldn’t recommend, given what he knew Monday, a ban on public attendance at the Big 12 Conference basketball tournament starting Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo. Conditions on the ground can change rapidly and evidence of community spread may prompt a different conclusion, he said.


“I would favor moving ahead at this moment in time,” he said. “It’s a balancing act.”


Norman said no vaccine was likely to be on the market for six to 12 months, perhaps longer. The state is conducting four to six tests daily on suspected infections with COVID-19 and the agency is equipped to perform up to 60 day, he said. A commercial test can become available soon so testing may be performed at hospitals, he said.


He said the state is expected to receive $4 million to $6 million of the $8 billion in emergency federal funding authorized by Congress. Those resources would be shared with health facilities throughout the state, he said.