COVID-19 spikes in rural areas as Kansas cases jump by more than 1,300

photo by: Associated Press

Dr. Lee Norman, the top administrator at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, discusses the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA (AP) — Kansas reported Friday that it had more than 1,300 new coronavirus cases over two days, and most of the biggest spikes over the past two weeks occurred in rural counties in the central and western parts of the state.

The state Department of Health and Environment said Kansas has had 56,592 confirmed and probable coronavirus cases, an increase of 1,366 or 2.5% from Wednesday. The state averaged 615 new cases a day during the seven days ending Friday, a figure second only to the average of 622 for the seven days ending Wednesday.

The health department also reported an additional 11 COVID-19-related deaths over two days to bring the pandemic total to 632. Deaths continued to represent about 1.1% of the reported cases.

The biggest spikes for the two weeks ending Friday were in Cheyenne County in the state’s far northwestern corner and Pawnee County in central Kansas. For both, the increase was 17.31 reported cases for every 1,000 residents, or six times the state’s rate of 2.82 new cases for every 1,000 residents.

Of the 10 counties with the biggest increases in cases per 1,000 residents, eight had fewer than 7,200 residents, and all were in western or central Kansas.

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