• Last modified 808 days ago (Sept. 16, 2020)


COVID respite follows Tabor student release

Staff writer

Tuesday marked the first time since June 22 that the county has gone seven days without a new case of COVID-19.

The last local cases, two males and a female, were reported Sept. 8. As of that date, the county reported 97 COVID-19 cases.

Five Tabor College students reported Thursday to be in isolation have all been released.

At that time, 50 more were in quarantine because they had been in close contact with someone infected with the virus.

That meant 10.9% of the 504-member student body was isolated or quarantined.

Tom Shaw, vice president for advancement at Tabor, said Tuesday the remaining students in quarantine are expected to be released by Friday.

Shaw declined to say how many students have been in quarantine or isolation at one time since an 18-bed COVID-19 facility was developed at one end of the Salem Home building.

“None of the positive cases have been of a serious nature and the college continues to work closely with the Marion County Department of Health and the Hillsboro Community Hospital,” Shaw said.

Shaw said none of the five students sick with the virus last week were among the seven cases reported Sept. 9 by Kansas Department of Health and Environment as an active cluster on the school’s soccer team.

“The ones that were soccer team related have all been cleared,” Shaw said.

County health administrator Diedre Serene explained that clusters now being reported by the state remain on KDHE’s cluster list until 27 days have passed with no new cluster-related cases.

Shaw also said the athletes’ long-term health was not jeopardized by the virus.

Shaw said protocols Tabor developed to combat COVID-19 had mitigated and helped contain it.

Marion County Health Department reports 97 COVID-19 cases since the epidemic began.

The state’s cluster list includes 558 clusters that resulted in 11,253 infections, 661 hospitalizations, and 312 deaths.

The 189 clusters considered active have resulted in 5,454 cases, 184 hospitalizations, and 61 deaths.

Tabor’s soccer team was the lone cluster from Marion County, but other clusters involve places county residents may have visited.

Other sports teams on the list are Dodge City Community College athletics with 37 cases; the University of Kansas football team, 14 cases; the Kansas State university football team, 11; Baker University’s soccer team, 6; and Kansas City’s Dynasty volleyball team, 6.

The Chase County Detention Center in Cottonwood Falls was listed as having 56 cases, and El Dorado Correctional Facility had 12.

Sedgwick County Jail topped the list of prisons and jails with 491 cases, closely followed by Hutchinson Correctional Facility with 403. Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility had 197, and Winfield Correctional Facility had 17.

Among colleges and universities, seven fraternities or sororities at K-State made the list: Delta Sigma Phi with 19 cases; Kappa Kappa Gamma, 9; Theta Xi, 8; Phi Delta Theta, 7; Alpha Delta Pi and Sigma Delta Epsilon, 6 each; and Alpha Xi Delta, 5.

Overall, Pittsburg State University topped the list of colleges and universities with 100 cases. Benedictine College in Atchison has 98; Fort Hays State University, 45; Bethel College, 43; Dodge City and Hutchinson community colleges, 12 each; Hesston College, 7; and Emporia State University, 6.

Long-term care facilities have accounted for 254 of the 312 cluster deaths, with meat packing plants accounting for the next highest number, 19.

Clusters are identified by name if they have five or more cases, except for private businesses and meat packers, which are identified only if they have 20 or more cases.

No clear explanation other than this was provided as to why only 73 of 189 active clusters were identified Wednesday.

People who test positive for COVID typically are isolated, and those exposed to them are quarantined for at least 14 days to see whether they develop symptoms. No numbers on how many people are quarantined were released.

Last modified Sept. 16, 2020