• Last modified 573 days ago (Jan. 16, 2021)


Pandemic continues at accelerated pace with 20 new cases Friday

Staff reporter

Coronavirus continued to spread at an accelerated pace Friday with the reporting of 20 new cases in Marion County.

The new cases push the seven-day total number of cases back up to 67. That’s down from the all-time record of 90 new cases in seven days that ended Jan. 8 but still is hovering well above most levels recorded since April 1.

The only periods with higher seven-day totals were Nov. 5 through 18, Dec. 16 through 22, and Jan. 4 through 10.

In all, 844 cases have been reported in Marion County.


There was some good news in Friday’s report.

According to state data, Marion County appears to have the lowest overall infection rate of any adjoining county.

State data indicate 7.13% of county residents have tested positive for the disease since April 1.

That’s below the state average of 8.79% and the rates in all adjoining counties.

McPherson has been the hardest hit with 9.54% testing positive. Saline is next with 9.52%, followed by Butler (9.48%), Harvey (9.21%), Chase (8.27%), Morris (8.01%), and Dickinson (7.94%).

According to county data, 90 Marion County residents continued to exhibit symptoms, receive treatment, or were required to be in isolation as of 4 p.m. Friday. That’s down from a record of 108.

Uncounted others remained under quarantine orders after being exposed to these patients.

Three of the 90 active patients were reported hospitalized Friday.

County officials continue to report a total of six deaths since the disease began here but have noted that it can take weeks if not months for deaths to be added to the data.

According to state data released Friday, 32.16% of all county residents have been tested for COVID-19.

Among those tested this week, 12.04% tested positive — a rate that exceeds state guidelines, not enforced here, for canceling face-to-face instruction in schools.

Recent testing appears to have focused on young adults, with state data indicating 50 tests were administered to Marion County residents ages 18 to 24.

Only one person in that group tested positive, however.

The greatest numbers of positive tests this week were 5 in the 35-to-44 age group and 5 more in the 45-to-54 age group.

Three cases were reported in the 5-to-10 age group and also in the 25-34 age group. At least one or two others were reported in all age groups except teen-agers and preschoolers.

However, state numbers lag significantly behind county numbers, accounting for only 23 of the 67 new cases reported in the past seven days.

County officials no longer release information about the ages of those testing positive for COVID-19.

The next update on COVID-19 cases is not expected until Wednesday.

Last modified Jan. 16, 2021