Ford County records 30th coronavirus death

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Coronavirus cases in Ford County see a significant decline over the weekend as it records its 30th death since the pandemic began.

According to Ford County physicians adviser Dr. R.C. Trotter, there was one new death over the weekend, bringing the overall total to 30 since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The death was confirmed on Monday.

"It was an older gentleman that had multiple diagnoses," Trotter said of the latest death.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there had been no new deaths in any of the Ford County nursing homes as of Nov. 29.

On Friday, Dec. 11, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment showed Ford County added 30 new cases of the coronavirus with a case rate of 145.6 per 1,000 people.

There were 58 new virus tests conducted, with a testing rate of 412.9 per 1,000 people.

There were two new hospitalizations, one new ICU admission and one new patient discharge.

On Monday, the KDHE added 20 new cases to the Ford County record with a case rate of 146.2 per 1,000 people.

There were 108 new tests conducted for a testing rate of 416.1 per 1,000 people.

There was one new hospitalization, two ICU admissions and one new patient discharge.

The 50 new cases have lead to the lowest case rate total over a three-day time frame in months.

According to data compiled from the KDHE site, Ford County had 1,024 cases in the month of November, the highest total of any month since the pandemic started.

On its website as of Monday, Dodge City Public Schools showed 11 active cases at its facilities. They were:

• One staff member at Beeson Elementary School.

• One student and one staff member at Bright Beginnings.

• One student and one staff member at Dodge City High School.

• Two staff members at Miller Elementary School.

• One staff member at Northwest Elementary School.

• One student at Soule Elementary School.

• Two staff members at Sunnyside Elementary School.

According to Trotter, the drop in cases could have many contributing factors.

"The school district taking the extra time off for Thanksgiving to clean could be why the schools have seen a drop," he said. "The city mask mandate may have made people stop and think about wearing masks. I have noticed we have seen a drop in getting calls about people being sick — there's a number of things."

One of the issues since the beginning of the pandemic was the meatpacking plants, which led to the first cluster rise in the county.

Currently, according to Trotter, both National Beef and Cargill have anywhere from 20-30 people out of work either due to a positive test or being quarantined after exposure to someone who tested positive.

Trotter also said testing rates for the virus have declined. Locations where tests can be administered have not changed with Western State Bank Expo Center, Ford County Health Department, Xpress Wellness and other locations still testing.

"I spoke with the expo center today and they are still doing close to 50-60 per day and some days a little more," Trotter said. "We haven't quit testing, but the people getting tested seems to have changed. What that means, I don't know."

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