Shawnee County moves out of red zone for first time in weeks, community transmission decreasing


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department held a virtual media conference Thursday afternoon to discuss the spread of the coronavirus in Shawnee County.

For the first time in weeks, the county has moved out of the uncontrolled zone and is seeing a steady decrease in community spread.

Cases have decreased another 25.3% to 451 cases. This is three straight weeks of decreases following a high of 1129 three weeks prior.

Although Shawnee County cases remain in the uncontrolled category authorities said they are pleased with the progress.

The number of cases must decrease to 175 cases for the outbreak to be considered under control.

You can watch the meeting below:

Scheduled to speak were, Derik Flerlage, Shawnee County Health Department Infectious Disease Division Manager, Dr. Robert Kenagy, President & CEO Stormont Vail Health, Steve Anderson, CEO University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, Mayor Michelle De La Isla, City of Topeka.

For the first time in 14 weeks Shawnee County is out of the red.

Craig Barnes, Division Manager, Community Health Outreach and Planning, said in a written statement the percentage of positivity continues to drop, an indication there are fewer infections in the community.

“This is not a joke. This is nothing to play with,” Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla said.

Isla had been hospitalized with COVID-19 recently.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is reporting 272 active coronavirus clusters across the state as of Wednesday, Feb. 3. That is a drop of 39 active clusters from just four days ago.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported on its website Kansas has seen 278,915 cases of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. There have been 8,578 hospitalizations and 3,895 statewide deaths as of Feb. 3.

According to KDHE, Shawnee County has seen a a total of 15,425 cases as of Feb. 3.

With the collaboration of GraceMed, SCHD and local hospitals, there have been 26,000 vaccinated to date.

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