FactFinder 12: Putting COVID-19 numbers in perspective

Published: May. 7, 2020 at 5:23 PM CDT
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With daily reports that come out reporting the latest COVID-19 numbers across Kansas and specific counties, breakdowns like hospitalizations and the number of recovered patients spark questions from many.

Among recent questions is why Sedgwick County has few overall cases than Ford County, but also more hospitalizations.

As of Thursday morning in Ford County, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports about 500 more COVID-19 cases than in Sedgwick County. However, Ford County has just 15 hospitalizations compared to 76 for Sedgwick County.

Sedgwick County Health Officer Garold Minns explains several COVID-19 cases came from nursing homes with more at-risk populations and patients more likely to be hospitalized from getting sick.

In Ford County, meat-processing plants were hit hard by COVID-19, but more cases included younger workers, less likely to be severely affected.

As of noon Thursday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports 6,144 cases of COVID-19 in the state and 587 hospitalizations.

When it comes to testing in Kansas, you can expect total case numbers to increase as more testing takes place. In places like Ford and Finney counties in southwest Kansas, we know significant increases in COVID-19 cases are a result of a lot more testing happening those counties.

When it comes to overall testing, Dr. Minns says Kansas is still behind. The Trump Administration wants to test two percent of the population per state, per month. In Kansas, that would equate to about 59,000 tests per month. While testing in the state is ramping up, to date, only about 44,000 tests for COVID-19 have been conducted in Kansas.