By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Jefferson Elementary, Clara Barton on cluster list
Kansas middle school student dies of COVID-19
Coronavirus breaking news

Jefferson Elementary School in Great Bend and Clara Barton Hospital in Hoisington were listed Wednesday as COVID-19 exposure locations. St. John Jr./Sr. High in Stafford County was also on the cluster list for the second consecutive week.

Every Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) publishes the locations that have five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset dates in the last 14 days. For the current locations, KDHE released the following information:

• Jefferson Elementary has had five cases in the last 14 days, with the last onset date being Sept. 13.

• Clara Barton has had five cases, with the last onset date being Sept. 15.

• St. John Jr./Sr. High has had 19 cases, with the last onset date being Sept. 15.

KDHE reported clusters with 5-8 cases in 14 days at several other Kansas schools. Locations included Piper Prairie Elementary School in Kansas City, Rock Hills Jr./Sr. High in Mankato, South Haven Jr. High School, DeSoto High School athletics in Johnson County, McPherson High School football and Osawatomie Middle School’s seventh-grade volleyball team.

Education Commissioner Randy Watson told Gov. Laura Kelly’s Safer Classrooms Workgroup that a Kansas middle school student has died of COVID-19 this week, the Topeka-Capital Journal reports.

In Hillsboro, a spokesman from Tabor College said a total of 18 COVID-19 cases were confirmed on campus as of Thursday morning, Sept. 23.

More from KDHE

Over the course of the pandemic, Kansas has had 401,931 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 13,547 hospitalizations and 5,919 statewide deaths. There were 2,562 new cases, 96 new hospitalizations and three new deaths reported since Monday, Sept. 20.

Here are KDHE’s totals to date of positive and probable cases for area counties, followed by any change since Monday, Sept. 20, as of 9 a.m. Wednesday:

• Barton 3,389 (+46)

• Ellsworth 1,324 (+4)

• Pawnee 1,267 (+8)

• Rice 1,332 (+13)

• Rush 485 (+1)

• Russell 999 (+4)

• Stafford 502 (+11)

Barton County has reported 108 COVID-19 related hospitalizations to date, an increase of two since Monday. Pawnee County’s total remained unchanged at 56.

Rice County reported one additional death related to COVID-19 since Monday. Here are the totals for area counties:

• Barton 53

• Ellsworth 28

• Pawnee 15

• Rice 15

• Rush 15

• Russell 31

• Stafford 13

County ranking

After falling to 101st out of 105 counties Monday on the Kansas County COVID Rankings, Barton County’s ranking improved to 98th on Wednesday. 

Counties are ranked on three COVID measures:

• Vaccination rate

• Average number of COVID cases per 100,000 population

• Average number of COVID tests given per 100,000 population

Rankings for each measure are summed for the total score; the lowest risk county has the No. 1 ranking and the highest risk county has the No. 105 ranking.

Barton County ranked 84th in vaccinations with 43% of its eligible population (age 12+ years) fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (same as Monday); 91st for cases with 67 per 100,000 population, seven-day average (an improvement from Monday, when the county ranked 97th with 80 average cases per 100,000, seven-day average); and 60th for tests with 411 per 100,000 population, seven-day average number of tests per 100,000 people (an improvement from Monday when the county ranked 70th with 389 tests given, seven-day average per 100,00 people).

Pawnee County’s overall ranking dropped from 66th out of 105 counties to 75th. County rankings and other COVID-19 information from KDHE can be found online at

This story was posted Sept. 22 and updated on Sept. 23 to include more information, including the fact that a Kansas middle school student has died of COVID-19.