Barton County saw four fewer new cases of COVID-19 for the period from Dec. 17-23 than it did the previous week, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. That dip was enough to take Barton County below the “high” weekly new case rate for the first time in many weeks. KDHE defines “high” as 100 or more cases per 100,000 people; Barton’s rate is now in the “substantial” category, defined as 50-99 cases per 100,000 people. Rice and Russell counties also showed a substantial new case rate, while other area counties – Ellsworth, Pawnee, Rush and Stafford – had a high new case rate.
Along with cases of COVID-19, Kansas has been hit by RSV and flu this month, prompting the Great Bend Tribune to close its front door to the public on Dec. 5 as a health precaution for employees and customers. That situation will be reevaluated next week. A dropbox is available at the front entrance at 2012 Forest Ave. for customers’ convenience. The Tribune is still operating and delivering the news.
Here are the new case numbers for area counties, followed by the rate per 100,000 people in each county:
• Barton 22; 85.3
• Ellsworth 13; 213
• Pawnee 11; 171.5
• Rice 8; 83.9
• Rush 4; 131.8
• Russell 5; 79.2
• Stafford 5; 120.3
As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, there were 2,709 new COVID-19 cases and seven new related deaths reported statewide since Wednesday, Dec. 21.