Dear Mitchell County Residents,
In the last two weeks both Kansas and Mitchell County have witnessed a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases. While there are multiple reasons that may have attributed to this surge, a few items include an increase in non-essential travel, greater testing capabilities, and identification of a wider array of symptoms. For Mitchell County specifically, common symptoms recently identified consist of headaches, diarrhea, body aches, exhaustion, nasal congestion, sore throat, and a dry cough. With that being said, the current case count for Mitchell County as of July 17th at 8:30 a.m. is 18 active cases, taking our total to 22 since March 2020.
For this press release, we are going to address a couple commonly asked questions, the first being why our case count on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) website does not match the count we are releasing from the health department. Due to the rise of cases being reported to KDHE, there may be a lag between the time our lab notifies KDHE of the confirmed positive COVID-19 case and KDHE staff being able input the case into their system. Additionally, KDHE is only updating their website three times per week, and often by the time the data is extracted from the KDHE system and uploaded onto their website, we have received additional cases.
Next, we have received many requests for general data and statistics regarding COVID-19 cases. As of July 15th, Kansas has reported 20,933 positive cases. It is important to note this is a running total and not currently active cases. Per KDHE, while we have witnessed an increasing trend in cases in Kansas, we continue to have a decreasing trend in hospitalizations and deaths. At this time, Kansas is averaging approximately 400 new cases per day, the majority between the ages of 18 to 34 years old, with the average age being 39-years-old. Our percent of positive (the percent of all tests being completed that are coming back with a positive result) is 8.7%, increasing slightly in recent weeks. Lastly, KDHE has identified 122 active clusters in Kansas at this time, attributing to 4,074 of the positive cases or approximately 33%.
Please note, if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. fever, shortness of breath, cough, headache, body aches, and so on), or are a potential close contact of someone with a laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19, please contact your health care provider prior to arriving at the facility. Please do not arrive at the clinic or the hospital prior to calling ahead. These actions will reduce the chance of exposure to our health care providers, and allow for the most efficient usage of our health care resources. Furthermore, please continue to show kindness and patience towards each other as we continue to navigate this pandemic together. We appreciate the tremendous effort put forth by our community members in reducing exposure and preventing the spread of infection.