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Larned State Hospital employee with COVID-19 dies
Barton County reports 25 new cases since last Thursday
covid tribune

Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard announced Monday that one staff member at Larned State Hospital died on Wednesday, Oct. 15, due to complications from COVID-19. This is the first staff member death at any of the four state hospitals related to the virus. 

“I was saddened to learn of this news, and I extend my condolences to both the family and the rest of the hospital staff as they cope with this tragic loss,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Our civil servants have worked selflessly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of those under their care. My administration will continue to support them by leveraging the resources and equipment needed to keep workers safe and limit the spread of the virus in high-risk areas.” 

The staff member had more than three years of dedicated service to LSH and the State of Kansas, Secretary Howard reported. The staff member has not been on campus for several weeks and did not have contact with patients or residents. To protect their identity, no further information will be released.

“This is a sad time for our agency and for the dedicated staff at Larned State Hospital, a day we all hoped would never come,” Secretary Howard said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family we know is struggling with losing their loved one and our other hospital staffers mourning a co-worker.”

New cases in Barton County

Barton County on Monday reported there have been 25 new cases of COVID-19 since Thursday, Oct. 15.

To date, there have been 695 positive cases, of which 147 were active as of 1 p.m. Monday. There have been seven deaths attributed to COVID-19, although Barton County Health Director Karen Winkleman told the County Commission she expects that number to increase after attending physicians confirm the cause of recent deaths.

There have been 4,026 quarantine or isolation orders issued and 745 of those are active.

Of the total cases, 288 have been males and 407 have been females. Of the 25 new cases, 11 are males and 14 are females; three reside in Ellinwood, 13 in Great Bend, one in Pawnee Rock and eight in rural Barton County.

The number of positive cases by residence, followed by the number of cases currently active, are:

Claflin, 13 - 1

Ellinwood, 89, 11

Great Bend, 380, 98

Hoisington, 77 - 15

Olmitz, 2 - 1

Pawnee Rock, 6 - 1

Rural Barton County, 128 - 20.

Great Bend USD 428

Great Bend USD 428 posts all reported COVID-19 incidents on its website. Three new notifications were received Sunday, Oct. 18:

• A student tested positive at Great Bend High School; 10 additional students were expected to receive quarantine orders.

• A staff member at GBHS tested positive; one additional staff member was expected to receive quarantine orders for close contact.

• A staff member at Jefferson Elementary School tested positive; no additional quarantines were expected.


The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports that as of 9 a.m. Monday, there have been 72,968 cases of COVID-19 statewide, resulting in 3,421 hospitalizations and 872 deaths. There were 2,113 new cases and 13 new deaths reported since Friday, Oct. 16.

The median age of those who have died was 79. The youngest age was 18 and the oldest was 107. Death counts and data are preliminary and are subject to verifications. A COVID-19 death is defined as a person with COVID-19 and a death certificate that lists COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 as a cause of death or a significant condition contributing to death.

There have been 598,394 different people tested and 525,426 negative tests. The monthly percent of positive tests is 7.9%.

Other KDHE stats:

Barton County has had 33 total hospitalizations for COVID-19, resulting in nine ICU admissions and five mechanical ventilations. Twenty patients have been discharged. This represents an increase of one person hospitalized and one discharged since Wednesday, Oct. 14.

The number of patients by age group was: 45-54 years, four; 55-65 years, 12; 65-74 years, eight; 75-84 years, four; 85+ years, five.

Pawnee County has had seven total hospitalizations, with one ICU admission. Six patients have been discharged. This is unchanged from last week.

The number of patients by age group was: 35-44 years, one; 55-64 years, one; 65-74 years, two; 75-84 years, three.