COVID case plateau concerning health experts

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA (KSNT) – A lot of the focus has turned to how many people are getting vaccinated, but health officials say the amount of coronavirus cases there are is still an important number to track.

In the last seven days, there have been 1,563 coronavirus cases in the state. That’s an average of 223 a day. The number is down substantially compared to the height of the pandemic when about 2,700 cases were happening a day in November.

The amount of cases has dropped for much of this year, but they’re now starting to plateau between 1,000 to 2,000. That’s still higher than the low point last year when new cases started to tick down before the summer.

Health officials warn to keep taking precautions. They said it’s important since coronavirus is impacting this many people, with 17 dying from it in the last week, and only slightly more than a quarter of the state fully vaccinated.

“It’s still in the communities and it’s still being transmitted, and people are still getting pretty ill from it, so again keep up the mask use, even if it’s not required in your community, it would be prudent to wear one, particularly when you’re indoors and close to other people, I think that’s the message, and again, encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Charlie Hunt, senior analyst for Kansas Health Institute.

He said just because cases aren’t rising rapidly doesn’t mean the current rate isn’t concerning.

“A year ago we were seeing less than half of the cases everyday that we’re seeing right now, so it is an indication that this is not over,” Hunt said.

Forty-one percent of the state has gotten at least one shot so far, but experts said the number of people taking the initiative to get a vaccine is starting to slow.

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