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Area counties report first COVID-19 variant
One more death in Barton County
Coronavirus breaking news

Kansas Department of Health and Environment statistics for COVID-19 were updated Wednesday. Barton County reported one new death since Monday. Area counties also reported their first cases of COVID-19 from SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. There three such cases in Rice County and one each in Pawnee and Ellsworth counties. Each was listed as a “variant of concern” type B.1.1.7.

This variant was first detected in the United Kingdom. Predicted or known attributes include approximately 50% increased transmission and likely increased severity based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates. 

A variant of concern is one for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures. It is less serious that a “variant of high consequences” and more serious that a “variant of interest.” Learn more at

Over the course of the pandemic, Kansas has had 311,338 cases, resulting in 10,460 hospitalizations and 5,029 deaths. There were 411 new cases, 13 new deaths and 55 new hospitalizations reported since Monday, May 10.

The total confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and death counts for area counties are:

• Barton 2,616 cases (+4 since Friday, May 7) - 49

• Ellsworth 1,221 (-2) - 25

• Pawnee 1,166 (unchanged) - 13

• Rice 1,076 (unchanged) - 12

• Rush 431 (unchanged) - 14

• Russell 860 (+3) - 29

• Stafford 342 (+2) - 9

Cluster summary

On Wednesday, KDHE publishes the names of locations that have five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset dates in the last 14 days. This week there are three:

• KVC Group Home in Kansas City, seven cases within the last 14 days, last onset date May 4

• Glen Carr House Memory Care in Derby, six cases, last onset date May 8

• Hillsboro High School, five cases, last onset date May 3.

No cases at USD 428

Great Bend USD 428 has not reported an in-district case since a student at Great Bend High School tested positive on Feb. 22. This week Superintendent Khris Thexton said there was one student in quarantine but it was due to close contact with someone outside of the schools who tested positive.