Lyon County Public Health reported 12 new positives and 13 new recoveries, Wednesday afternoon, bringing the number of active cases in the county to 83.
At least five of the new cases are attributed to Emporia State University student-athletes. The students had tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, according to a written release from the university. The university said 14 COVID-positive students had been identified through random testing across all athletic programs.
A total of 890 cases have been recorded since March, including 789 recoveries and 17 deaths. An additional 17 death certificates were pending review at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
One person is hospitalized.
Public Health officials added 25 new tests to Wednesday’s numbers, bringing the total number of people tested in the county to 5,519.
Local clusters include private industry, long-term care and colleges and universities.
In Chase County, 11 new cases had been reported as of Monday, bringing the county’s active number of cases to 18. Seventy-six total cases had been reported, including 57 recoveries and one death.
Morris County reported four new cases Monday, bringing its total number of cases to 22. Five of those cases are active. Seventeen people have recovered so far.
Osage County reported seven active cases with 58 recoveries. Thirty people remained under quarantine.
Coffey County reported 13 active cases, with 88 total cases since March. A total of 66 recoveries and eight deaths had been recorded.
Greenwood County identified three new cases Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases to 10. The county has seen 37 cases overall with 27 recovered.
Wabaunsee County had not released updated totals since Aug. 24.
The report comes as Gov. Laura Kelly announced that Kansas would begin to release the names and locations of active outbreaks in the state starting Sept. 9.
“With our children returning to school, sports resuming, and college campuses reopening - we’re seeing the largest increase in outbreaks to date,” Kelly said in a written release. “By sharing where the outbreaks take place, Kansans will be better informed about the threat of COVID-19 in their schools and communities, and will be better prepared to contain and stop the spread of the virus.”
Statewide, Kansas reported 1,328 new COVID-19 cases from Monday to Wednesday, bringing the state’s confirmed total to 43,940. That includes 15 sports clusters with 119 cases. Health officials also reported an additional 12 COVID-19-related deaths for a statewide death toll of 458.
Active locations will be released when there are five or more confirmed cases associated to the location. For private businesses, the name of the business will only be released if there are 20 or more cases associated with the location. In Kansas, an outbreak is defined as two or more cases associated with one known exposure.
This information will be published weekly on Wednesdays, beginning Sept. 9 on the COVID-19 dashboard on the KDHE website, and will include the number of cases associated with each outbreak. Until now, the state has only issued press releases naming locations of outbreaks where contact tracing is not possible.
Kansas will join numerous other states already providing this information and will follow White House guidance in sharing this information on public-facing dashboards.
Lyon County Health Officer Renee Hively said she wasn’t surprised at the governor’s announcement, as colleges and schools go back into session. Hively and other Public Health officials have previously expressed frustration at the limitations set on the state level on the information that can be publicly released.
“I like where the governor is going with this, as our communities want us to be transparent for their safety,” she said. “Public health will follow her lead unless it interferes with contact tracing — meaning if a positive case is present at an event, bar [or] social gathering where they can’t identify close contacts.”
Hively said she felt Kelly’s criteria for announcing clusters was “very conservative” due to the known infectivity of COVID-19.
“Setting the criteria at 20 will delay transparency to our community, but I do understand her intent as our small businesses have taken the brunt of this pandemic,” she said. “It is not the intent of Public Health to target small business, but to protect the health of our community. We can’t have a good economy without good health. This is hard to balance.”