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Kansas reports 67 deaths from COVID-19; more coronavirus clusters in Hutchinson

Wichita eagle logo Wichita eagle 10/15/2020 By Jason Tidd, The Wichita Eagle

State public health officials reported 1,293 new cases of COVID-19 and 67 more deaths from the coronavirus disease on Wednesday as the Hutchinson area had more clusters reported.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s report showed 69,155 total cases and 838 deaths statewide from the pandemic. The increases are from Monday’s report to Wednesday’s report. All of the new deaths were among patients 45 years old and older.

The 67 deaths set a record for the most in a single report. Previous record-breaking death reports had disclaimers from the KDHE that the increase was due in part to a review from the Office of Vital Statistics. Wednesday’s report included no such disclaimer.

There were also 70 new coronavirus disease hospitalizations over two days, including 10 residents of Sedgwick County. There were 23 more COVID-19 patients admitted into intensive care, of which two were from Sedgwick County. There were six more patients statewide placed on ventilators.

Hospitals discharged 39 COVID-19 patients in the same time frame, including three Sedgwick County residents.

The new hospitalizations in Kansas included patients from every adult age group, but no children.

There have also been 3,309 total hospitalizations in Kansas, including 443 people from Sedgwick County. There have been 913 ICU admissions statewide with 105 of those from Sedgwick County. There have been 280 patients who needed ventilators, including 20 people from Sedgwick County.

Hospitals have discharged 2,340 Kansans and 303 people from Sedgwick County.

Kansas hospital numbers may be under-counted, which could lead to a lower allocation of critical supplies, according to a weekly report from the White House’s COVID-19 task force.

In the Wichita area:

Sedgwick County had 10,298 cases, which was an increase of 149.

Reno County had 1,564 cases, which was an increase of 43.

Butler County had 1,227 cases, which was an increase of 62.

Harvey County had 465 cases, which was an increase of 13.

Cowley County had 464 cases, which was an increase of 10.

Sumner County had 234 cases, which was an increase of one.

Kingman County had 114 cases, which was an increase of two.

Kansas reported 53 new clusters in the last week. The KDHE list of active outbreaks, which only identifies a fraction of all 241 active clusters in the state, listed several in Reno County.

Hutchinson is an area “where there may be bad news ahead,” according to the New York Times. The city is the third-worst metro area in the country for the fastest rise in cases, adjusted for population.

The outbreak at Hutchinson Community College has had 21 cases in the last two weeks. In that time, Hutchinson Correctional Facility’s cluster has had 105 cases and Reno County Correctional Facility’s cluster has had five cases. Two nursing home are also on the active outbreak list with 17 cases at Diversicare of Hutchinson and 47 cases at Mennonite Friendship Communities in South Hutchinson.

In Harvey County, Bethel College in Newton has had 36 cases in the last two weeks.

In Sedgwick County, two long-term care facilities made the list. Cheney Golden Age Home has had 25 cases and Wichita’s Larksfield Place Assisted Living has had 10 cases in the last two weeks. Derby High School is also on the list with nine cases.

The KDHE’s nursing home metric, which is used to determine how often staff of long-term care facilities should be tested, was also updated on Wednesday. The criteria was set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The metric is based on the positive test rate and the level of testing compared to population.

Harvey County was one of 25 Kansas counties in the red zone of that metric, which is based on a positive test rate above 10% with two weeks of adequate community testing. There were 23 red counties last week. Nursing homes and other care facilities should test their staff at least twice a week when their counties are in the red zone.

Routine testing drops to a minimum of once a week for yellow counties and once a month for green counties. Sedgwick, Reno, Butler and Kingman counties were in the yellow while Cowley and Sumner counties were in the green.

The data is for the 14-day period starting Sept. 27.

Kansas reported 6,453 more negative tests on Wednesday, raising the total to 510,672.


©2020 The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kan.)

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