New COVID-19 cases plummet in Kansas

Mike Stucka

Kansas reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 2,782 new cases. That's down 41.3% from the previous week's toll of 4,740 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Kansas ranked 38th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 471,554 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of 3.7% from the week before. Across the country, 29 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across Kansas, cases fell in 65 counties, with the best declines in Johnson, Shawnee and Sedgwick counties.

The share of Kansas test results that came back positive was 17.6% in the latest week, compared with 22.7% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 16,040 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 20,834. Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Within Kansas, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Hodgeman, Woodson and Phillips counties. Adding the most new cases overall were Johnson County, with 572 cases; Sedgwick County, with 524 cases; and Wyandotte County, with 226. Weekly case counts rose in 31 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Butler, Geary and Woodson counties.

In Kansas, 119 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 244 people were reported dead.

A total of 295,997 people in Kansas have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 4,692 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 28,605,669 people have tested positive and 513,091 people have died.

Kim Mason, left, receives her second COVID-19 vaccine from medical assistant Teone Fjeld at the soon-to-open Coquille Indian Tribe medical clinic in Eugene, Oregon.