Editor’s note: This story has been updated to note that KDHE determined Newman Regional Health is not a cluster site. The hospital will be removed from the state’s COVID database.

Lyon County’s active case count jumped to 404, Thursday, after public health officials took one day off from reporting for Veterans Day.

The new active case load includes 137 new positives and six new recoveries.

Overall, 1,707 cases have been reported in Lyon County since March, along with 1,261 recoveries and 41 deaths. One death certificate is pending review at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Four patients are currently hospitalized.

Eight clusters accounting for 76 active cases are currently being reported across colleges and universities, schools, gatherings, long-term care, and health care facilities.

The Flint Hills Community Health Center was identified as a COVID hot spot Nov. 3 after five employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The health center is currently listed on KDHE’s active cluster database.

KDHE also reported Newman Regional Health as a cluster site with eight active cases, however, representatives from the hospital told The Emporia Gazette they were seeking more information about why that classification had been made.

Hospital representatives said there were “no transmissions” occurring within the confines of their health care facility.

Upon investigation, KDHE determined the hospital was not a cluster site. While the hospital does have COVID-positive employees, the transmissions did not occur in the work environment, but rather due to family or social gatherings outside of work.

A third Lyon County institution — Emporia State University — is also listed on the database.

Kansas had a record daily average of 2,430 new confirmed and probable cases during the seven days that ended Wednesday, according state Department of Health and Environment data. The state also averaged a record 38 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations per day during that period, along with 18 new deaths a day.

Kansas has had more than 109,000 coronavirus cases, 4,200 hospitalizations and 1,200 deaths since the pandemic reached the state in early March, according to the health department.

State health officials blame the big surge in coronavirus cases on people being lax about wearing masks in public and still attending gatherings, including private family ones, such as birthday parties, baby showers and even informal get-togethers. They’re worried that the state will see an even larger spike in cases after Thanksgiving.

(23) comments


I'd like to see/read how KDHE was able to report that a health center, hospital (later retracted) and ESU are hot spots but at the end of the article claim that the most likely places for spreading the virus are social/family gatherings and due to lax use of masks. I think to make that statement KDHE needs to show data supporting that because at this point it comes across as a tactic to frighten people and make them fearful of being with family and friends. If the science shows that wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing works why can't we do that with family and friends? Why is the boogeyman/virus lurking at the birthday party or at the Thanksgiving table? If we allow people to use mass transit, where social distancing isn't an option, but still use masks and sanitize why can't I partake of a meal with friends and family if we wear masks and wash our hands? I think these mixed messages from KDHE and CDC are the reason people are pushing back. When Dr. Fauchi vasilates on wearing a mask, the length of the pandemic and even if we should be worried about it people will reasonably question all info and recommendations coming from these state and federal agencies.

And before anyone of you responds I would ask that you show respect and restraint and maintain civility. I've noticed several posters have shown little respect when responding to people they don't even know. So I would ask that you imagine you're responding to a loved one rather than a faceless stranger.

These are some of my thoughts and observations.


The first plane the Wright brothers built didn’t fly. When Dr. Fauci, the CDC and KDHE vacillate they aren’t trying to pull one over on the American public. They are trying to protect us in the best way possible with the knowledge they have at that time. And like the Wright brothers plane, with time and patience, our country will fly again.


So we have a physician & immunologist who has served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, that's 36 years for anyone keeping track, Dr. Fauchi who has vascillated on a variety of issues regarding this novel virus. What I find bizarre are people on one side of the political aisle defending Dr. Fauchi as you have using your reference to the Wright Brothers. Oddly these same people have decided that a first term president be held to a higher standard than the doctor with 36 years of experience dealing with immunology. Why? Why is this double standard trotted out and used as "exhibit A" to condemn our President? This is just one of the many reasons our great country has fractured into an us and them battleground. When politics are allowed to bleed into areas, where it has ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS BEING PART OF THE DISCUSSION, people begin to dig in and let their political ideologies take the drivers seat in the discussion. If we can cut some slack to the immunological specialist of 36 years then we should be able to recognize the positive steps President Trump took at the end of January closing all travel from China. That was huge and happened when the doctor with 36 years at NIAID said he didn't think that action was necessary.

My 3 overall points are:

1. Never politicize these kinds of events

2. Give Trump some credit for the things he did do right, even if you don't like him or even hate him.

3. Question everyone because we're all on this roller coaster ride and are learning new facts about this disease so let's work together and stop fighting.

I appreciate your example of the Wright Brothers but let's apply that generosity to everyone at the table suggesting and making decisions.....sound reasonable? I think it does. And I believe that how we can start healing.


Dr. Fauci has not vacillated, Justin. He has refined his opinion as new knowledge has been found. Remember this is a novel coronavirus, about which nearly nothing was known when it was first found. As it has been studied, our knowledge of its behavior and our understanding of how to live with it have improved. What you call "vacillation" is instead updated advice predicated on new knowledge.

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Well looky there. Another of my posts deleted. Who said censorship wasn't alive and well wasn't paying attention.

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I see you've moved on to the "Anger" stage in your grieving process. Good to see you're finally making some progress.

Hollowed Ground

Republicans as usual, do nothing. In fact they are promising to ignore all mask and isolation recommendations from Democrats and medical professionals. Goobers in the Midwest are declining to order mask use even though their jurisdiction cases are surging and they are nearly out of hospital space. Now we're getting 150,000 infections every single day (and climbing) and 1200 a day are dying. Such leadership!


One of these days all of you GOOBRERS will figure out it's not a dem or rep. thing.

An Expatriate Emporian

@duster - but it is. Because the Dems have been pushing to take it seriously. The GOP push that science isn't to be trusted, that masks are an infringement of liberties. Being callous about others is the very foundation of contemporary GOP mantra.




The Kansas Department of Health and Environment's last report from Wednesday indicate that there was an average of 17 deaths per day due to Covid-19. Even at the current rate which is expected to rise due to the record breaking number of new cases and hospitalizations, this equates to an annual death toll of 6,205 of our fellow citizens. To put this in perspective, this is more than 15X the number of people killed in traffic-related incidents on Kansas roadways in 2018 (the most recent year for which the Kansas Dept. of Transportation has published data). This scale of the harm caused by the Trump Administration's failure to prioritize the public health of America is staggering and compounded by Republican governors and state legislators who have steadfastly refused to follow sound medical advice to avoid bruising the President fragile narcissistic ego. Shameful!


I'm curious to know how KDHE and/or Newman Regional Health can know that "the transmissions did not occur in the work environment, but rather due to family or social gatherings outside of work." It's my understanding many asymptomatic people are not being tested. This comes from Renee Hively, who recently stated that individuals who were being tested in their facility were experiencing symptoms while their asymptomatic contacts were refusing to be tested. Unless testing is being done on all Newman Regional Health employees on a daily basis irrespective of symptoms, it doesn't seem that one could possibly know for certain that an asymptomatic NRH employee didn't infect his or her co-workers. Again, I'd be very interested to know how KDHE and/or NRH were able to conclude with certainty that the virus was not transmitted in the work environment.


We know what we need to be doing: 1) Wear masks, one and all. 2) Be more than 6 feet from other people. 3) Clean and sanitize our workspaces/ public spaces/ etc. often. 4) Wash your hands often/ use hand sanitizer. This is not a menu of options--we should do all of these things It is a challenge to do them all, but to push the curve back down again we must.

Hollowed Ground

Let me add a little. When one's lungs are infected with a virus, the virus particles spread to new hosts by riding on tiny droplets expelled by breathing, talking, singing, coughing, sneezing, etc. You want to contain as many of those particles as you can, so you wear a mask to mainly stop spreading the infection to others. But it also protects you when you are near an infected person and are inhaling through the mask. No mask is 100% effective but when both the infected person and the un-infected host both wear masks, the likelihood of spreading drops drastically from roughly 70% with no masks to roughly 30% with one mask to less than 3% with two masks. Additionally maintain distance AND minimize time. The time factor is almost never mentioned but it is more important than distance, especially when distances are small, like less than 20 feet indoors. Virus-laden particles are in thermal equilibrium with the air so they go where the air goes. That is how I stay healthy and alive. I wear a mask, I avoid fools with no masks, chinstrap masks and uncovered noses like the plague. I wash hands frequently. especially after a checkout line. I touch public keypads and touch screens with a pencil. Wipe downs are nice but I do not let my health depend on them. Business wipe downs are arranged to minimize the expense not maximize the effectiveness. Worthless business owners won't enforce anything. If you walk in without a shirt they'll demand you leave but if you walk in without a mask and infect a dozen others, they'll invite you to stay. No indoor seating area is safe; no meal is worth the risk. Just stay away from them all until this virus mutates to a more benign form, which it will do, as they all do.


I sure wish i was as intelligent as you


This should be the Kansas motto.

An Expatriate Emporian

is you try real hard, maybe you can at least get close one day.

An Expatriate Emporian

@Aim_High, damn it, you made me snort in the middle of a zoom call with your Kansas motto comment... because it's entirely true.



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