By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Golden Belt continues to see fewer COVID-19 cases
Coronavirus breaking news

For the second consecutive week, there were no COVID-19 cluster locations reported for the Golden Belt when the Kansas Department of Health and Environment released its weekly report on Wednesday.

Each week, KDHE lists locations that have had five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset in the last 14 days. This week, only nine locations were identified. All nine were long-term care facilities.

Not every active COVID-19 cluster makes the list. KDHE reported that are 239 active clusters statewide, representing 7,081 cases, 84 hospitalizations and 70 deaths. The majority of the clusters – 186 in all – were in long-term care facilities.

Statewide overview

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Kansas has had 766,969 COVID-19 cases to date, resulting in 19,490 hospitalizations and 7,975 statewide deaths. There were 924 new cases, 89 new hospitalizations and 29 new deaths reported since Monday.

Here are the area case numbers as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, with any change since 9 a.m. Monday:

• Barton 6,474 (+6) 

• Ellsworth 2,009 (+2)

• Pawnee 2,115 (+0)

• Rice 2,589 (+2)

• Rush 810 (+1)

• Russell 1,868 (+0)

• Stafford 1,131 (+1)

Area deaths

Here are the COVID-related death totals for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday. There have been no new deaths reported since Feb. 16.

• Barton 86 

• Ellsworth 31

• Pawnee 23

• Rice 22 

• Rush 18

• Russell 36 

• Stafford 26


The Great Bend Tribune also reports on COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Barton, Pawnee and Stafford counties.

• As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Barton County has reported 175 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, including 32 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions to date, and 114 discharged patients reported to KDHE. This reflects one new hospitalization since Monday. The median age for patients admitted in February was 70.

• Pawnee County has reported 76 hospital admissions, 15 ICU admissions and 50 discharged patients to date. These numbers have not changed since Feb. 16. The median age for patients admitted in February is 62.

• Stafford County has reported 36 hospital admissions, 15 ICU admissions and 23 discharged patients to date. These numbers have not changed since Jan. 5.

Vaccination rates

Fewer than half of Barton County residents age 5 years and older have completed the vaccine series for COVID-19, although 53.9% have received at least one dose. 

Here are the percentages of eligible people (age 5 and older) who have completed the vaccine series in area counties:

• Barton 49.21% 

• Ellsworth 58.74%

• Pawnee 55.86%

• Rice 46.02% 

• Rush 51.93

• Russell 47.29% 

• Stafford 49.47%

Statewide, 62.0% of all Kansans have been vaccinated with one dose and 53.7% have completed a vaccine series. To date, 1,940,684 first doses, 1,564,390 second doses and 694,020 third doses have been administered.