The Barton County Health Department has identified several positive cases of COVID-19 involving people who attended a wedding at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Olmitz and subsequently a wedding reception at the Great Bend Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 8. Individuals who attended this wedding or reception may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, Barton County Administrator Phil Hathcock said Friday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Barton County reported eight new positive cases of COVID-19 at 9 a.m. on Friday and 11 more Friday evening, bringing the total to 176 — 82 males and 94 females, according to statements from Hathcock’s office.
Some of these cases could be linked to the wedding, but other factors such as residents from throughout the county working in Larned could also be a factor. Over the past week, one staff member and 43 residents at the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
“The Health Department encourages those who were at the above locations during the identified days and times to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days,” he said. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, fatigue, diarrhea, and/or shortness of breath/difficulty breathing.
“If symptoms develop, please stay home, and contact your health care provider for guidance on testing,” he said. In an emergency, call 911 and notify first responders that you were potentially exposed to COVID-19 and, if possible, wear a cloth face mask before they arrive.
The new cases Friday morning included five males and three females, one living in Ellinwood, five in Great Bend, one in Pawnee Rock and one in rural Barton County.
The new cases Friday evening included five males and six females, one living in Galatia, two in Great Bend, four in Hoisington, 1 in Pawnee Rock and three in rural Barton County.
To date, the county has issued 1,425 quarantine/isolation orders and 265 of those are active (down from 322 at the Friday morning report). There are 59 active cases and there have been three deaths.
Residence, total number and current active:
• Claflin - 3 - 0
• Ellinwood - 15 - 1
• Galatia - 1 - 1
• Great Bend - 90 - 20
• Hoisington 37 - 21
• Olmitz - 1 - 0
• Pawnee Rock - 2 - 0
• Rural Barton County 27 - 14
The Barton County Health Department continues to identify close contacts of the individuals of each positive case, Health Director Karen Winkelman said. Close contact is defined as being within six feet for a prolonged period (10 minutes or longer) or having direct contact with infectious secretions.
The BCHD will actively monitor the close contacts for 14 days for symptoms, she said. “The public can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing and infection control.”
Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports there have been 33,885 confirmed and probable cases statewide, resulting in 402 deaths, as of Friday. This was an increase of 1,338 new cases and seven new deaths from Wednesday.
There have been 2,020 hospitalizations and 309,158 negative tests.
Case rates by county range from 0 to 65.6 per 1,000 residents. There have been no confirmed cases in Rawlings and Wallace counties; Ford County has had 2,206 cases. The case rate per 1,000 for area counties is: Barton, 5.8 (165 cases); Stafford, 1.7 (7 cases); Pawnee, 9.8 (63 cases); Rush, 3.3 (10 cases); Ellis, 5.4 (153 cases); Russell, 2.8 (19 cases); Ellsworth, 3.4 (21 cases); Rice, 4.1 (39 cases); and Reno, 6.7 (418 cases).