The number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Barton County rose to 30, according to figures released by Public Information Officer Donna Zimmerman at 3 p.m. Of these, 17 cases are considered active and one of the individuals has died.
The cases represent 11 males and 19 females. Of these, 21 are from Great Bend, three are from Claflin, four are from Ellinwood, one is from rural Great Bend and one is from the rural northeast corner of Barton County.
To date, the county has issued 279 quarantine or isolation orders and 68 of those are still active.
A local long-term care facility, Medicaloges - Great Bend, previously noted one patient and five of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19. On Friday, the facility reported a sixth employee, who had initially tested negative, has since posted positive after displaying mild symptoms.
“This employee is a non-direct care position, has had very limited resident contact and is currently restricted from working,” a May 15 COVID-19 update on the company website reports.
“We continue to work closely with the Barton County Health Department and have coordinated with them to schedule all residents and staff, who initially tested negative, to be tested again on Monday May 18th. As we receive results from this new series of testing, we will keep you updated. Rest assured, we will continue to be vigilant in screening and monitoring of both employees and residents. We encourage you to call the facility with any questions.”
The Barton County website notes, “The Barton County Health Department continues to identify close contacts of the individuals of each positive case. Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet for a prolonged period (10 minutes or longer) or having direct contact with infectious secretions. BCHD will actively monitor the close contacts for 14 days for symptoms. The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and infection control.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment updated its statistics for the state at 12:30 p.m. Friday, when Barton County was still showing 28 positive cases.
At that time, there were 7,886 confirmed and probable cases in Kansas. There have been 724 hospitalizations and 172 statewide deaths. There have been 53,706 negative tests.
Barton County also released the following suggestions on infection control and social distancing:
• Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible OR use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Cover coughs / sneezes with inner elbow
• Regularly clean high-touch surfaces
• Avoid shaking hands
• Maintain at least a 6-foot social distance from other individuals
• Cancel mass gatherings where individuals will be in close contact with each other