By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Ellinwood facility on cluster list
Possible exposure at St. John football game
350 1st doses 2-22-21

A Barton County long-term care facility is on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s cluster list for COVID-19 this week. Elsewhere in the Golden Belt, the Stafford County Health Department is advising anyone who attended last week’s football game at St. John to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

Azira Health Woodhaven in Ellinwood was on the state’s list Wednesday when KDHE resumed releasing the locations of clusters. KDHE’s report showed the long-term care facility has had 16 cases within the last 14 days.

Woodhaven was one of 14 long-term care facilities in Kansas on the list and was the only cluster in Barton County. The bulk of the list was comprised of long term care facilities. Other categories include college or university; corrections; health care; private business; religious gathering; school; and sports.

The next nearest clusters to Barton County were a religious gathering at Apostolic Faith Tabernacle in Hutchinson, with seven cases, and the Hutchinson Correctional Facility, with six cases.

Six clusters were reported in Dodge City, at Dodge Community College (14 cases within the last 14 days), SunPorch of Dodge City long-term care facility (16), National Beef (20), the Abundant Life Family Church revival event (9), Unified School District 443 (10), and Dodge City Community College Athletics (6).

KDHE will update the list every Wednesday.

Great Bend USD 428

Great Bend USD 428 has updated its published list of reported COVID-19 incidents related to the school district. According to the district website, the district received two notifications on Saturday, Sept. 19, each concerning a student at Great Bend High School.

The notices state:

• Student at GBHS tested positive. 39 students received quarantine notice based on close contact.

• Student at GBHS tested positive. 9 students received quarantine orders based on close contact.

These notices were not posted on the district website until Tuesday. According to USD 428 Public Information Director Andrea Bauer, they were waiting for final information from the school nurse.

School officials were concerned about the large number of volleyball players who received quarantine notices Saturday. On Monday, Superintendent Khris Thexton and head volleyball coach Shelly Duvall addressed the Barton County Commission and a meeting was planned with Barton County Health Director Karen Winkelman. Duvall told the commission that as a result of a junior varsity playing testing positive for COVID-19 after being quarantined on Thursday, Sept. 7, the entire GBHS team, including those that did not have any contact with the JV Team, was quarantined last Saturday. 

State reports

KDHE updated its COVID-19 statistics Wednesday, showing 55,226 Kansans have tested positive, resulting in 2,766 hospitalizations and 621 deaths. There were 1,267 new cases and 21 new deaths reported since Monday, Sept. 21.

Other counties

Pawnee County Health Department reports that as of Tuesday, the county has had 344 cases (KDHE reports 368), including residents of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility. There have been 70 positive cases in the Pawnee County community, including eight in the last 14 days. Pawnee County as adopted a COVID risk assessment matrix and its risk level is yellow, or minimal to moderate risk.

Stafford County Health Department reports that as of noon Wednesday, the county has had 56 positive cases (KDHE 53) and six of those are active. There has been one death. The county has 23 active quarantine/isolation orders.

The health department also advises that anyone who was at the St. John High School football game in St. John on Friday, Sept. 18 should self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea and/or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Rice County Health Department reports that as of Monday, there have been 67 positive cases (KDHE 72). Ten are active: 2 in Sterling, 4 in Little River, 3 in Lyons and 1 in Alden. There have been 56 recovered cases and one COVID-related death. There are currently no hospitalizations related to the disease.

Ellsworth County Health Department reports that on Monday there had been 32 reported positive cases (KDHE 32) and 26 of those individuals have recovered. There are no active cases in the community; active cases are localized to the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. There have been no deaths and there are currently no hospitalizations related to the disease.

Rush County Health Department reports that as of Tuesday the county has done 540 tests. Fifty-three have been positive (KDHE 53) with 12 that are still active and in isolation; 41 people have recovered.

Russell County Health Department reports that as of Monday there have been 82 cases (KDHE 80), with one case pending results, and 71 have recovered. Three people have been hospitalized, although none are at present, and there have been no deaths.

Barton County’s last update was Monday and showed 441 cumulative positive cases. KDHE reported 398 cases for the county as of Wednesday, Sept. 23. In most cases, county health department numbers are higher than state levels. As the Russell County Health Department website notes, there is a time lag in when a case is reported and when it shows on the state website.

Correctional facilities

The Kansas Department of Corrections reports that as of Wednesday the Ellsworth Correctional Facility had no current staff cases and 12 current resident cases. There have been 18 cumulative staff cases and 369 cumulative resident cases. Larned has four current staff cases and 74 current resident cases. There have been 35 cumulative staff cases and 274 cumulative resident cases. Hutchinson has one current staff case and 63 current resident cases; there have been 30 cumulative staff cases and 456 cumulative resident cases. At the time of the report was compiled, updated staff numbers had not been received for the week for Larned.

KDOC also reports there have been eight total deaths at its facilities due to COVID-19: two staff members and four residents from Lansing Correctional Facility; one staff member from the Topeka Correctional Facility; and one resident from the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility.

What's the difference between quarantine and isolation?

The Russell County Health Department provides this explanation of the difference between quarantine and isolation.

If someone is isolated, that means they have the disease (isolate for ill). The infectious period is 10 days, so the ill person is released after 10 days because they are considered no longer infectious.

For those that are quarantined, they have been exposed but are not sick. They must remain in quarantine for the entire time of the incubation of the disease. In this case, the incubation period (the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms) of COVID-19 is 14 days. The person may develop symptoms on day 2 or day 13; it depends on the person. This is the reason for remaining in quarantine for 14 days.

A person may be contagious 48 hours BEFORE showing symptoms of this disease. By staying in quarantine for 14 days, they are not spreading it to others before showing symptoms.

The quarantine period begins with the date of last contact with the infected person. The isolation period begins with the date of symptom onset. If the person has no symptoms, the isolation period begins with the date of testing.