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CDC ranks 4 Kansas counties at a high COVID-19 community level, another 19 at a medium level

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 2,148 new cases of COVID-19 and 41 additional deaths in the state for the week of January 18-25.

Eleven Kansas counties were reported to have a high weekly rate of new cases, meaning they have more than or equal to 100 cases per 100,000 population. KDHE put Sedgwick County at a “substantial” rate, reporting 50 to 99 cases per 100,000.

Eighteen counties remain low, meaning they have recorded fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 population.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that Sedgwick County has a low community rate of COVID-19.

In all of Kansas on Thursday, four counties were at their peak: Clay, Trego, Morton and Seward. This is an increase from last week when one county was at its highest.

In high counties, the CDC recommends masking in enclosed, public places. At an average level, those at highest risk of developing severe forms of COVID-19 should consider masking and other precautions.

Nineteen counties are now mid-level, up from 12 last week.

The CDC updates the metric every Thursday for U.S. counties and bases the assessment on the number of new cases and hospitalizations per 100,000 people (seven-day totals) and the percentage of staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID-positive patients (an average seven days).

The CDC estimates the county has about 81 cases for every 100,000 individuals.

As for the percentage of hospital beds used by people with confirmed COVID-19, the CDC puts that metric at 1.3%.

The Sedgwick County Health Department reports a positive COVID test rate of 8.8% as of Thursday. That’s a jump of nearly 2% in a week, with the positive test rate at 7.1% on Jan. 20.

The positive test rate represents the average of 14 days of positives recorded out of the total number administered and does not include home tests and those not reported to the county.

The highest number of positive tests reported in one day was 123 on January 24. 10 new positives were reported on Thursday.

Protect yourself from COVID-19

To protect yourself from contracting the virus, wear a mask when necessary, avoid large gatherings if possible, wash your hands often and practice physical distancing.

If you start developing symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for the virus, you can get tested through your local health department or an at-home test, available at most grocery stores and pharmacies.

If you contract the virus, the CDC says to quarantine for at least five days after the onset of symptoms.

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