KDHE’s reports show declining trends in COVID numbers

KDHE’s reports show declining trends in COVID numbers
Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 11:28 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2022 at 5:35 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reporting declining trends for COVID-19 cases and deaths but, The University of Kansas Health System warns of what could come if efforts are decreased.

KDHE reports 1,100 new cases and 81 hospitalizations since Monday’s update. The test positivity rate so far for February is 12.5%. It was 28.7% in January. KDHE’s COVID-19 update from Friday-Monday showed 997 new cases, 10 new deaths, and 45 new hospitalizations since Monday, Feb. 21. The first time it’s under 1,000 new cases since July 2021.

Mayo Clinic shows the seven-day rolling average for active cases has changed from nearly 9,000 in mid-January to 771 Wednesday.

Active clusters this week dropped by nearly 100 (256), compared to 341 last Wednesday.

Topeka hospitals are showing positive trends because of this.

TUKHS St. Francis Campus has 15 positive inpatients -- nearly half are unvaccinated. They had 40 COVID patients on February 1. Their critical care unit started at 82% capacity Wednesday morning. It’s down to 76% as of the afternoon.

Stormont Vail Health reports 32 inpatients are positive which is six less from Friday and down from 84 in late-January. 35 team members and 5 providers on contact leave for COVID-19. Down from 56 team members out on Friday.

TUKHS Kansas City is caring for 116 total COVID patients Wednesday, down from 122 Tuesday.

Dr. Steven Stites said the month of March is going to be a test for these trends..

“When we start taking masks off in indoor public places including schools and including airports, we’re going to see a little bit of a disease bump but, cross my fingers, I’m pretty darn hopeful that it won’t be the really severe, rapid surges we’ve had in the past,” he said.

Dr. Stites said a big contingency is people having both shots and their booster shot.

As of Feb. 16, 61.7% of Kansans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

KDHE says the Omicron variant is highly infectious and transmittable, accounting for the majority of recent cases in the United States. They encourage anyone over the age of 5 to get vaccinated.

“Vaccines remain the best tool to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. Additionally, it is recommended that people wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor settings in Kansas, regardless of vaccination status.”

As we reported last week, Shawnee County has fallen out of the high zone on the COVID-19 Community Indicator Report for the first time in 7 weeks on Feb 17.

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