Lyon County Public Health officials reported 93 new positives for COVID-19 and six new recoveries, Wednesday afternoon, bringing the total number of active cases in the county to 682.
This is the highest number of active cases on record, as a statewide surge in cases continues.
To date, there have been 1,976 cases recorded in Lyon County since March including 1,253 recoveries and 41 deaths. There was one death certificate pending review at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Public Health officials are no longer able to confirm the number of local hospitalizations. To date, 111 hospitalizations have been reported.
“Due to inconsistent reporting from local sources, we are unable to report active hospitalizations at this time,” the database read.
According to the state’s hospitalization data, 118 Lyon County patients have been hospitalized since March. Of those patients, 110 have been discharged, 24 were ICU admissions and 13 required mechanical ventilation.
The Emporia Gazette has received multiple reports, Wednesday, that Newman Regional Health is currently at capacity.
According to McKenzie Cinelli, public information officer for Newman Regional Health, the hospital was seeing higher COVID in-patients.
“Yesterday, [Tuesday] we were at 11 COVID positive inpatients,” she said in an email to The Gazette. “Over the weekend, we reached 15. Along with many other Kansas hospitals, we are seeing high patient volumes regularly now that are putting us close to capacity. Due to timing of transfers and discharges, this is constantly changing.”
Newman Regional Health has six ICU beds, 25 regular beds and 21 staffed beds. A section of the hospital on the third floor had also been converted into a COVID unit.
The state added 5,853 cases to its pandemic total since Monday, increasing it to 128,594. The state reported 60 new COVID-19-related deaths over two days, making the total 1,326.
Hospitals around the country are seeing worsening conditions as the pandemic rages across the United States.
The number of people in the hospital with COVID-19 in the U.S. has doubled in the past month and set new records every day this week. As of Tuesday, more than 76,000 were hospitalized with the virus.
According to the Associated Press, newly confirmed infections per day in the U.S. have exploded more than 80% over the past two weeks to the highest levels on record, with the daily count running at close to 160,000 on average. Cases are on the rise in all 50 states. Deaths are averaging more than 1,155 per day, the highest in months.
The out-of-control surge is leading governors and mayors across the U.S. to grudgingly issue mask mandates, limit the size of private and public gatherings, ban indoor restaurant dining, close gyms or restrict the hours and capacity of various businesses. New York City’s school system suspended in-person classes Wednesday amid a mounting infection rate, a painful retreat in a corner of the country that had suffered mightily in the spring but had seemingly beaten back the virus months ago.
Cindy Samuelson, spokeswoman for the Kansas Hospital Association, said hospitals are converting spaces such as chapels and cafeterias for use by COVID-19 patients. In Reno, Nevada, Renown Regional Medical Center began moving some coronavirus patients into its parking garage.
In Topeka, Kansas, Stormont Vail Health devoted an entire hospital floor to COVID-19 patients as their numbers swelled, hitting 90 on Wednesday. The hospital also converted two surgery waiting rooms for use by non-infected patients, spokesman Matt Lara said.
Kansas health chief Dr. Lee Norman said a system that he likened to air traffic control for coronavirus patients is being put in place so nurses from rural hospitals can make a single call to find a larger hospital that can take their sickest patients. In some cases, nurses and doctors have been spending up to eight hours looking for a large hospital with an opening.