COVID-19 diagram

A diagram from the CDC of the COVID-19 virus.

The holiday season is upon us, and as concerns rise over travel and large family gatherings, so do COVID-19 cases county- and state-wide.

The Kansas Health Department reported 162,061 cases in the state, as of Wednesday evening, as well as 5,290 hospitalizations and 1,679 deaths. The Johns Hopkins Caronavirus Resource Center lists Kansas with the fifth-highest rate of test positivity at 318 daily cases, with a 39.9 percent positivity rate.

Local counties continue to see increases in cases, as well, though active cases have dropped in Brown County. While the county has added just under 40 new cases over the past week, up to 752, active cases have dropped from 110 to 103. The County Health Deparment, which was closed for four days over Thanksgiving, is also reporting 11 deaths, with 8 currently hospitalized.

The group issued a press release on Wednesday to report the increase in county-wide COVID-19 deaths, and urged citizens to be safe, wearing a mask in public, practicing social distancing and washing hands, while avoiding groups and crowds. They also encouraged residents to notify their primary health care provider if experiencing any symptoms.

Locally, Doniphan County has reached 534 cases, while Atchison County is at 908 cases and Nemaha County’s case count has risen to 1,107 with 24 deaths — 12 of which were added this week.

In Brown County, both the county and Hiawatha’s city governments have issued mask mandates. The county’s mandate runs through Dec. 7, while Hiawatha’s ordinance is indefinite.

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