BY JUSTIN SABATA
Ellis County Health Department
The steep rise in COVID-19 cases across the nation is also affecting Ellis County.
The Ellis County Health Department has reported sharp increases in new coronavirus cases since last Friday. Since then, 154 new cases have been reported with 288 active cases as of Wednesday – an increase of 159 active cases since November 2.
ECHD Director of Health Services Jason Kennedy was unable to speak to the county commission during Monday’s meeting. However, the department published a social media post Monday that reads as follows:
“ELLIS COUNTY RESIDENTS: Over the weekend, we’ve seen an increase of cases. Please be patient to receive a call from a contact tracer. In the meantime, isolate and make a list of your close contacts that will need to quarantine.”
There are eight active COVID hospitalizations and no new deaths. Over the past week, the county has averaged 25 new cases of COVID-19 per day with a weekly average percent-of-positives rate of 40.3%
These statistics are well above the usual weekly averages and have increased the overall county percent-of-positives rate to 14.4% (an increase of 1.3% since last Monday).
As reported by Kennedy during the October 6 commissioners meeting, if the overall rate becomes lower than 10%, then areas like long-term care facilities can be open for close family visits. If the rate is lower than 5%, then these facilities can open up completely.
The overall rate has steadily increased since Kennedy made this announcement.
The following statistics were taken directly from the Ellis County Health Department’s COVID-19 Portal. Residents are encouraged to visit this site for the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus in Ellis County.
New Cases: 102
New Cases per Day, 7 day average: 25
Active COVID-19 Cases: 288
Active Hospilizations: 8
Recovered Cases: 1,430
Positive Tests: 1,625
Total Tests: 11,323
7-Day Average, Percent-of-Positives: 40.30%
Total Deaths: 18
Probable Cases: 111
Total Cases: 1,736
The health department provides updates on COVID-19 in the county every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday via their COVID-19 Portal.
Fort Hays State University COVID-19 Response
In the week after Halloween, FHSU reported 11 positive tests out of the 24 administered in the Student Health Center. The week before, only 4 out of the 13 tests given returned positive.
Four students were in on-campus quarantine throughout last week and eight students were provided off-campus isolation from the university. FHSU also conducted 51 surveillance tests with three positive results. Updates are given every Tuesday on the FHSU COVID-19 Dashboard.
Since the pandemic began, the ECHD has recommended county citizens follow the guidelines advised by the KDHE and the CDC; wearing a face cover, washing hands regularly, avoiding close contact and large groups, and monitoring daily health.