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KDHE releases Kansas COVID County Rankings report
Barton County ranks 79 out of 105
coronavirus cdc

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announced the release of the Kansas COVID County Ranking report on Wednesday. Barton County’s overall ranking was 79th out of 105 counties.

This report is designed to help county commissioners and local leaders stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by tracking critical COVID-19 metrics including testing, case and vaccination rates.

“I believe that data is a powerful tool we can use to guide our response to COVID-19,” Dr. Lee Norman said. “I am hopeful this report empowers action in communities and encourages sharing and implementation of best practices across Local Health Departments. Local leaders and communities are working tirelessly to keep us safe; to help them, helps all of us.”

This report is not a report card, as multiple factors impact COVID-19 testing, case and vaccination rates in our communities. It brings together the most critical COVID-19 metrics at a local level to help state, county, and local leaders work together to stop the spread of the dangerous COVID-19 delta variant and keep Kansans safe and keep the economy open, officials stated.

“Over the past 18 months, Kansas Counties have worked tirelessly to provide ongoing response and vital resources for county residents to keep them safe and informed on the evolving COVID-19 virus,” shared Bruce Chladny, executive director, Kansas Association of Counties, “And, the county response efforts, including vaccinations and essential messaging, continue as Kansas now experiences yet another surge from the deadly virus.”

Three metrics are reported and ranked across each county:

• Full series vaccination rate of eligible population (12+ year-olds)

• 7-day daily average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people

• 7-day daily average number of COVID-19 tests administered per 100,000 people 

Each county’s rankings are added together to generate a total score for the county. The total scores for counties are then ranked from 1-105.

The report will be refreshed three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It can be found on KDHE’s website at Data for the report is provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and KDHE.

Here are the rankings for area counties:

• Barton 79

• Ellsworth 32

• Pawnee 40

• Rice 38

• Rush 52

• Russell 99

• Stafford 28

Barton County’s vaccination rate is 40% (84 ranking), its COVID-19 cases per 100,000 are 26 (29 ranking) and its COVID-19 tests per 100,000 are 143 (70 ranking).

Pawnee County’s vaccination rate is 48% (25 ranking), its COVID-19 cases per 100,000 are 38 (54 ranking) and its COVID-19 tests per 100,000 are 147 (69 ranking).

Other statistics

Every Wednesday, KDHE publishes the names of locations that have five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset dates in the last 14 days. This week, there were no locations listed in the Golden Belt.

The Dodge City Days event remained on the list for a second week. There were seven cases related to that event in the last 14 days, with the last onset date being Aug. 16.

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Kansas has had 362,321 COVID-19 cases to date, resulting in 12,572 hospitalizations and 5,535 statewide deaths. There were 3,478 new cases, 101 new hospitalizations and 37 new deaths reported since Monday, Aug. 23. There was also one new Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) case associated with COVID-19, bringing the total to 18 cases.

Area case totals

Here are the total positive and probable cases for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday:

• Barton 2,871 (+19 since Monday)

• Ellsworth 1,275 (+12)

• Pawnee 1,204 (+7)

• Rice 1,147 (+11)

• Rush 459 (+1)

• Russell 919 (+4)

• Stafford 394 (+2)

There were no new COVID-19-related deaths for area counties.

Hospital capacity

KDHE also provides information on hospitalizations and hospital capacity. There were no new hospitalizations reported for Barton or Pawnee counties.

Hospital capacity is shown by region. Most of the area counties are in the South Central Kansas Health Care Coalition Region. However, Ellsworth County is in the North Central Region and Rush county is in the North West Region.

In the South Central Region, there are 400 staffed intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 258 are in use (66 by COVID-19 patients), leaving 36% of the total beds available. There are 333 ventilators and 70 are in use (20 by COVID-19 patients), leaving 79% of the total ventilators available.

In the North Central Region, there are four staffed ICU beds and all are in use, although none are being used by COVID-19 patients. There are 18 ventilators and four are in use (none by COVID-19 patients), leaving 78% of the ventilators available.

In the North West Region, there are 28 staffed ICU beds and 10 are in use (four for COVID-19 patients), leaving 64% of the ICU beds available. Of the 61 ventilators, four are in use (one for a COVID-19 patient), leaving 93% of the ventilators available.

Clusters reported in K-12 schools

Kansas Department of Health and Environment information released Wednesday shows there are seven active clusters in K-12 schools, although none of the locations were publicly identified. The clusters represent 39 cases and 0 hospitalizations.

Over the course of the pandemic, schools have accounted for 159 clusters, 1,903 cases, 21 hospitalizations and one death.

Long-term care facilities have had more clusters than any other category. The 779 clusters represent 16,023 cases, 1,402 hospitalizations and 2,061 deaths (37.2% of the state’s total 5,535 deaths). There are 58 active clusters in this category, representing 520 cases.