DODGE CITY — As of Monday, Aug. 31, Ford County COVID-19 cases had reached 2,333 total since the pandemic began in March.


After nearly two months of single-digit cases per week, in the last two weeks, the cases in Ford County have consistently risen with 20-plus new cases each time numbers were reported. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment releases new case numbers on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


KDHE on Monday reported 24 new cases in Ford County. There were 27 new cases on Aug. 28 and 25 new cases on Aug. 25.


On Wednesday, the total number of cases jumped by 40.


As for the cause of the recent spikes, Ford County administrator J.D. Gilbert said, "It's too early to tell."


KDHE data also shows Ford County is testing at a higher rate per capita at 256.9 tests per 1,000 people, with a positive case rate of 70.6 per 1,000 people as of Sept. 3.


According to Ford County physician's adviser R.C. Trotter, the total number of deaths was 12.


"The last death occurred a week ago," Trotter said. "As for hospitalizations, the numbers remain low. Fewer people are getting admitted than staying home, so mass hospitalizations out here is not happening and it’s still holding steady."


According to Trotter, there was a surge in students at Dodge City Community College who tested positive.


Trotter said the students are being quarantined and not being let out into the community. The number of cases tied to the college was unknown.


In Dodge City Public Schools, one staff member has tested positive for the coronavirus with five staff members having household exposure, while three staff members are awaiting test results, according to Dodge City Unified School District 443 public information officer Kerri Baker.