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The Ford County Health Department received notification of 11 new positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday morning.


According to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the total number of Ford County cases has reached 51 as of Thursday.


"If you are an essential worker, it is still important to practice social distance while at work and stay at home as much as possible," Ford County administrator J.D. Gilbert said. "We beg you all to continue practicing hand washing frequently and efficiently, stay at home and social distancing when you have to go out to buy food and/or go to work."


According to the KDHE, there have been 144 tests for the coronavirus conducted in Ford County.


Of the possible cause of the large increases over the last few days, Gilbert said, "People will not stay home and social distance. Also, more people are being tested so the number will go up naturally."


For the state the number of cases has reached 1,588, with 80 reported deaths and 14,534 negative tests.


On Wednesday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly extended the stay-at-home order to May 3. The previous stay-at-home order had been set through April 19, but new data projects the state’s peak in cases to occur between April 19-30.


To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.