• Last modified 1051 days ago (Nov. 12, 2020)


Thursday evening update

COVID crisis deepens; at least 11 new cases each day this week

Staff writer

Marion County's massive surge in COVID-19 cases has significantly worsened with disclosure of 11 new cases Wednesday and 11 more new cases Thursday.

That's 73 new cases in the past seven days, continuing an ominous pattern that eclipses all previous seven-day records. Until Oct. 24, the record for new cases in any seven-day period had been just 25. It took the county 150 days, from April 1 until Aug. 28, before it recorded as many new cases as it has recorded in the past seven days alone.

The new cases, which bring the county's total to 252, translate to an infection rate of 21.2 per 1,000 residents, up an unprecendented 6.1 from a week ago. Rising merely 1.0 in a week means a county federally is designated as a “red zone.”

Kansas Department of Education guidelines urge local school districts to cancel face-to-face classes and activities and teach remotely when more than 10% of COVID-19 tests administered in their community during any week come back positive. According to data released Thursday by the county health department, Marion County has seen more than three times that positivity rate — 37.6% — in the past seven days.

The department has altered how it reports ages and genders of patients. Its reports for Wednesday and Thursday listed 5 patients age 60 or older, 2 patients in their 50s, 4 in thier 40s, 5 in their 30s, 3 between 18 and 29 years old, and 3 younger than 18. They include 16 females and 6 males.

Ever since outbreaks were reported at two county nursing homes, the department has not disclosed how many people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, or older have tested positive and instead has grouped together all those age 60 and older. It also formerly reported teens separately but now list only those 18 and younger.

A total of 77 patients continue being treated for or exhibiting symptoms of the disease, but only three of them are hospitalized as standards for hospital admission with COVID reportedly have been tightened.

Last modified Nov. 12, 2020