Ellis County virus cases jump by 12

Margaret Allen

The number of COVID-19 cases in Ellis County jumped by 12 as of Monday, according to the latest report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

There are now 18 active cases, according to Ellis County health services director Jason Kennedy.

KDHE reported Monday that Ellis County now has had a total of 57 cases. On Friday, the date of its last report, KDHE reported the county had 45 cases.

“Following the 4th of July holiday Ellis County has had an increase of 30 cases,” Kennedy said. “This increase is due to residents and visitors not honoring the guidelines.”

Kennedy instructs people to social distance, stay home when ill, avoid gatherings and wear a mask when not social distancing.

Some 23 of the cases are associated with four clusters of events, Kennedy said.

“These clusters include the I-70 travel plaza, two private gatherings and the Graham County dance. If residents continue to gather in groups, we will see cases increase,” Kennedy said.

The June 20 dance at Cowboy Junction night club in Hill City has also led to cases in Trego, Rooks and Sheridan counties. Cowboy Junction’s popular Friday and Saturday dances were canceled this past weekend, according to a post on its Facebook site.

Kennedy said all the people testing positive in Ellis County are in isolation. So far there have been no hospitalizations or deaths of Ellis County residents.

The 57 cases include all active cases, recovered cases and probable cases. Probable cases are people who haven’t been tested but are showing symptoms after contact with a person confirmed by testing to be positive for the coronavirus.

Kennedy reports the number of cases every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Two of those may likely be staff members at Good Samaritan Society assisted living home in Hays.

A statement Monday from the facility’s administrator said a mass testing event of the facility found there were no patients with the virus, but two staff members did test positive.

“Good Samaritan Society – Hays in Hays, Kansas, confirms all 61 residents who were part of a the mass testing event on July 7, 2020 tested negative for COVID-19,” said a statement from Noe Gillespie. “All 64 staff were tested as well, and two of those tests returned positive.”

Both staff members are out on leave and will return to work once cleared to do so, Gillespie said.

“A second round of mass testing is underway for employees and residents today,” she said. “While we continue to pray for our staff members we are happy to share that all staff and families are doing well at this time and we praise God for the negative results for all residents.”

KDHE in its Monday announcement said the state has now had 20,058 cases from 101 counties with 288 deaths reported as of 9 a.m. Monday.

Of those, 1,304 have been hospitalized. There have been 211,117 negative tests conducted at KDHE and private labs.

People testing positive range in age from infants to 103 years (median 37 years).

The state has 267 clusters, 118 of which are active, accounting for a total of 6,873 cases and 216 deaths.

The clusters are:

• Corrections facilities: 5 clusters (1 active) accounting for 1,029 cases and 7 deaths.

• Day care or schools: 9 clusters (7 active) accounting for 35 cases.

• Gatherings: 4 clusters (25 active), accounting for 506 cases and 15 deaths.

• Group homes: 10 clusters (5 active) accounting for 92 cases and 3 deaths.

• Health care facilities: 12 clusters (5 active) accounting for 86 cases.

• Long-term care facilities: 65 clusters (27 active) accounting for 1,027 cases and 168 deaths.

• Meat packing: 12 clusters (10 active) accounting for 3,205 cases and 17 deaths.

• Private business: 105 clusters (33 active), accounting for 857 cases and 6 deaths.

• Sports: 5 clusters (5 active), accounting for 36 cases.