COVID matches 1-day record
With Marion County tying a one-day record for new COVID-19 cases, state and local health departments are reporting a massive surge in the number of residents with COVID.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment data show an increase of 72 COVID cases in this past week, bringing the county total to 2,118.
The highest number of new cases in a single day last week was Dec. 15, with 18 new cases. That number ties Nov. 2, 2020, for the highest number of new cases in a single day. And numbers for the past week could increase beyond that because final statistics for that date have not yet been tabulated.
On Nov. 5, 2020, the county had 17 new cases, and on Oct. 16, 2020, it had 16 new cases.
The county health department reported Monday that 93 people were in isolation with symptoms of COVID, an increase from 73 the week before.
Marion Middle School and High School is on the state’s cluster list with seven cases in the last 14 days. The last onset date for the cluster was Dec. 9.
According to the University of Kansas Medical Center, hospitals across the region are reporting steep climbs in COVID-19 admissions, resulting in capacity challenges and crowded emergency rooms.
Statewide data show a sharp increase in intensive care admissions for COVID since Nov. 5.
Hospital chief medical officers are forecasting the highest inpatient numbers linked to COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Research indicates the highest death rates can be expected in counties with low masking, low vaccination, and few available ICU beds.
The state found its first case of the Omicron variant COVID last Thursday when a vaccinated Franklin County resident tested positive. That person had not had a booster shot.
Since then, eight other cases of the Omicron variant have been diagnosed, mostly in Sedgwick County and the Kansas City area.
State health officials urge Kansans to get vaccinations and boosters, wear masks in indoor public settings, get tested if they feel sick, and keep a social distance of six feet from other people.
“Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging,” acting KDHE secretary Janet Stanek said. “The three authorized COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. Scientists expect the vaccines to prevent serious illness, hospitalizations, and death in people infected with the Omicron variant.”