After seeing low levels of coronavirus increases for weeks, five of the seven counties in the KVOE listening area are now seeing moderate to high levels of the disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s online tracker, available by clicking here, demonstrates a case rate of 207 per 100,000 population, a new COVID-based hospital admission rate of almost 13 per 100,000 people and nearly 5 percent of staffed inpatient beds used by confirmed COVID patients. With those stats in mind, the CDC is making the unpopular recommendations of masking up while indoors in public and on public transportation as well as keeping current on vaccinations and testing if symptomatic.
Coffey, Greenwood, Morris and Wabunsee counties are in a medium level. Coffey, Greenwood and Morris counties have similar or higher case rates, but their new COVID-based hospital admissions and percentage of staffed hospital beds used by COVID patients are both lower than they are in Osage County. Wabaunsee County, meanwhile, has a lower case rate per 100,000 people but a higher rate of new hospital admissions.
Medium-level mitigation strategies as recommended by the CDC include masking up on public transportation and wearing masks if symptomatic, exposed to or confirmed with COVID.
Lyon and Chase counties are currently in low transmission levels, according to the CDC.
Health officials statewide and nationwide are tracking several omicron variants now spreading across the country, including BA.2.75, BA.4 and BA.5, which have an increased risk of breakthrough cases among both vaccinated and previously ill residents.