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Director: Clara Barton removed from cluster list
KDHE's published cluster list updated weekly
new vlc logo for Clara Barton Hospital
Clara Barton Hospital

HOISINGTON — Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington has no active cases of COVID-19 and will be removed from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s active cluster list, according to a letter from Jim Blackwell, president and CEO of Clara Barton Hospital. The letter was posted on the hospital’s Facebook page on Thursday, but the state won’t update its list until Wednesday, Sept. 16.

“In my letter dated July 21st informing the area of a few of our employees that had fallen victim to the COVID-19 virus, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment followed up by releasing a list of active COVID-19 clusters in the state of Kansas, which included Clara Barton Hospital, showing 14 cases among employees,” Blackwell’s letter stated. “While Clara Barton Hospital has had 14 total positive COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, we are pleased to report there are currently NO active cases among employees at this time!

“Per KDHE regulations a business or organization must go 28 days without a new case among employees to be taken off the COVID-19 cluster list. As of today, September 10th, Clara Barton Hospital has met the 28-day requirement and has been removed from the cluster listing. We applaud our staff for fighting so selflessly to help eliminate this virus spread,” the letter continued.

The cluster list was published for the first time on Wednesday, Sept. 9, and the KDHE plans to update it every Wednesday. Until then, Clara Barton is still on the state list as a cluster location with 14 total cases. As previously reported, the list also shows a cluster at the University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Family Medicine with six total cases and a cluster at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility in Pawnee County with 197 total cases.

Blackwell also praised the Clara Barton staff in his letter, saying, “These individuals are true heroes for stepping into harm’s way to care for our patients. These heroes have spent countless hours of their time covering shifts for fellow coworkers, cleaning exam rooms and waiting areas and taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both our patients and staff. Above all else, these employees have stood by and cared for those battling the COVID-19 virus, without hesitation, even when it meant putting their own health at risk.”

He also assured the public that the hospital continues to make “every effort to mitigate this virus from spreading within our organization.”

“We want our patients to rest easy knowing we are taking all precautions necessary to keep them safe at all times, including screening of all staff and patients upon entry, continuing enhanced cleaning regimens, requiring face masks throughout our facilities, and limiting visitation.

“We are very proud of the efforts being made by our community to stop the spread of the virus, but we assure you we are ready to care for you or your family in the event you would need medical attention. We truly are grateful for the trust and support of our community members in Barton County and the surrounding area. Please stay safe and healthy!”


Although the Kansas Department of Health and Environment only updates its cluster information on Wednesdays, other statistics are updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. As of 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 11, Kansas has had 48,386 positive cases of COVID-19, resulting in 2,537 hospitalizations and 511 deaths. There were 976 new cases and 16 new deaths reported since Wednesday, Sept. 9.

The state also reports there have been 400,544 negative tests.

The KDHE website also showed an increase Friday in the number of Barton County residents who have been hospitalized for COVID-19, from 11 to 13. At least eight of those patients have been discharged, and KDHE notes the data only includes cases with available discharge information reported to KDHE.