Four new deaths were reported as Lyon County’s active COVID cases rose to 723, continuing an upward climb in cases both locally and throughout the state, Friday.
Friday’s totals included 70 new positives, bringing the overall case count to 2,046 since March. There have been 1,281 recoveries, including 28 new recoveries reported Friday.
There are now 45 COVID-related deaths in the county, including the four new deaths reported today.
“We are sad to announce that four more Lyon County residents have passed away due to COVID-19. Our heartfelt sympathies are with their families and loved ones,” the health department said in a Facebook post. “As the pandemic continues to worsen and as we go into the holiday season, we urge you to continue to follow public health guidelines. The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving this year is with the people in your own household.”
Kansas Health Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said during a Friday morning call with local legislators and health departments that the state had reported 5,939 new cases of the novel coronavirus since Wednesday — an increase of nearly 3,000 cases per day. Eighty-four additional deaths were also recorded.
“That brings the total numbers to 134,533, in terms of the total number of cases, and 1,410 deaths to this point,” Norman said, adding that about 7% of the state’s COVID patients get hospitalized.
The death rate across the state has increased to 1.5%.
Norman said much has been learned about the virus in the eight months since the pandemic first crossed into Kansas.
“We know that it is primarily spread through droplet transmission and that masks are our best line of defense,” he said, sharing during the call the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report which includes a study separately examining the 24 counties that chose to follow Gov. Laura Kelly’s July 3 mask mandate. The study also looked at the 81 rural counties that opted out of the mandate.
The report, which was released Friday, reported the “COVID-19 incidence decreased in 24 counties with mask mandates but continued to increase in 81 counties without mask mandates.”
The report confirms other studies that show “countywide mask mandates appear to have contributed to the mitigation of COVID-19 transmission in mandated counties. Community-level mitigation strategies emphasizing use of masks, physical distancing, staying at home when ill, and enhanced hygiene practices can help reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”
The governor, Wednesday, issued another mask mandate which takes effect Nov. 25 in counties without mandates already in effect.
Kelly said, with the new mandate, she understood that a “one-size-fits-all” order would not fit for everyone.
“I know face coverings have become a political issue, but as cases skyrocket in Kansas and across the Midwest, leaders across the nation — Republican and Democrat alike — have reiterated the effectiveness of face coverings,” she said. “Wearing a face covering does not inhibit our freedom, or limit where we can go or what we can do. In fact, just the opposite. Diligent use will allow us to keep our businesses open, to keep our kids in school and protect our economy.”
Kelly urged leaders to encourage their constituents to wear face coverings in public spaces and to remember that they won’t be required forever — just until a vaccine is widely available for distribution.
Everyone’s work is needed now, she said, to keep hospitalizations low and prevent the further spread of the virus.
Lyon County Public Health and KDHE update Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The county dashboard can be viewed at www.publichealth.lyoncounty.org/covid-19.