KDHE names no outbreaks of COVID-19 in Douglas County as statewide virus count nears 64,000

photo by: Associated Press

Lee Norman, Kansas secretary of health and environment, speaks about current numbers of COVID-19 cases Wednesday, July 8, 2020, during a press conference at the Kansas Statehouse. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP)

Just one week after the Kansas Department of Health and Education identified outbreaks of COVID-19 at two Douglas County high schools, the county on Wednesday had no cluster locations in the department’s weekly update.

KDHE releases the location of COVID-19 outbreaks that result in five or more confirmed cases over the previous 14 days, and last week listed Baldwin City High School, with five cases, and Lawrence’s Bishop Seabury Academy volleyball team, with seven cases, in its Wednesday roundup. Since the two high schools are no longer listed, it means their outbreaks were contained, or at least dropped below the threshold of five new cases in the past two weeks.

Though Douglas County was clear of any named outbreaks, there was an uptick in virus activity since KDHE last released data on Monday and last released outbreak information on Sept. 30. The department is now monitoring 225 active outbreaks of the virus in the state, up from 219 last week, and named the locations of 38 clusters — down one from last week’s 39.

Overall, Kansas confirmed 1,244 new cases of the respiratory virus since Monday, and the state’s cumulative case count now sits at 63,952. Also on Wednesday, KDHE confirmed another 17 deaths attributed to the virus, which has claimed the lives of at least 723 Kansans since the pandemic began in March.

The 1,244 new cases were out of a total of 8,292 tests administered — a positive percentage rate of 15%. Health experts have said the rate of virus spread is too high in an area when the percent positive rate surpasses 10%.

Hospitalizations also increased more than normal in Wednesday’s data update. Since Monday, 85 people were hospitalized with COVID-19, a number that is normally closer to 60-65 people for a single reporting period. At least 3,121 people in Kansas have been hospitalized since COVID-19 took hold in March.

Dr. Lee Norman, the KDHE secretary, will give a press conference at 4 p.m. this afternoon to discuss the latest data surrounding COVID-19. It can be streamed live on the KDHE Facebook page.


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