COVID-19 cases and deaths on the rise

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By Jessie Wagoner

McPHERSON—Over the course of the last week, COVID-19 cases have increased in McPherson, and three deaths are pending review.

Last week, cases appeared to be in a downward trend with only 16 active cases. Low case numbers prompted McPherson Public Schools to begin full-day, in-person classes and led to the McPherson City Commission delaying reinstatement of a city wide mask ordinance. However, by Oct. 2, cases had begun to creep up, with 19 active cases reported Friday.

According to a release issued by the McPherson County Health Department on Oct. 2, there were 273 total cases, 254 recovered cases, 19 active cases, five current hospitalizations and one death. Over the course of the weekend, the numbers changed considerably, with 16 new cases diagnosed and three deaths reported.

McPherson County Health Department reports 289 total cases of coronavirus disease [COVID-19] in McPherson County,” Shalei Shea, director of the McPherson County Health Department said Monday. “Two hundred sixty two of the total cases have now met recovery guidelines set forth by the KDHE or have passed away. There are two current hospitalizations and one death. MCHD is confirming medical records on three other deaths before listing them in our numbers. MCHD would like to send our thoughts and prayers to the families suffering loss.”

The health department provided the following data regarding case information on Oct. 2 and also provided an update on Oct. 5.

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Those between the ages of 40 and 49 and those under the age of 18 saw the largest increase of cases over the weekend. Both groups saw six new cases diagnosed between Friday evening and Monday. On Oct. 2, the health department reported 109 of the total cases had unknown exposure, while on Oct. 5, 113 of the cases had unknown exposure. This indicates the majority of the new cases diagnosed were able to be traced and have a known exposure.

McPherson County is in Phase Three of Reopening Kansas,” Shea said. “McPherson County Health Department recommends McPherson County remains in Phase Three at least until Oct. 12. This decision extends Phase Three by two incubation periods and is based off the increasing trend in incidence rate.”