LYON COUNTY (KSNT) – New Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and a staggering rise in cases, spurred in part by the omicron variant, has one Kansas county changing the way they measure coronavirus cases.

Lyon County announced Wednesday they will simplify their dashboard by showing new positive cases over time. On Jan. 17 Lyon County recorded 835 active cases, a number that has been on the rise since Christmas Day 2021 when the county recorded 165 cases. Although Lyon County saw a spike in August of 143 cases, the previous summer months, in particular, May 3 through July 4, 2021, only saw single digits of new active cases.

According to Flint Hills Community Health Center Marketing Manager Justin Ogleby, active cases are becoming increasingly more difficult to measure. The new measure will be positive, or new cases per day. Ogleby said home testing has made data more difficult to collect.

Previously, counties counting active cases would have to know when those active cases would be released. However, new CDC guidelines and shortened quarantine periods would make comparing new data with previous data inaccurate.

“This is the data that we use when making decisions about COVID,” Jennifer Millbern, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator said. “We want the public to see the same data and trends that we are seeing. We can see increases in cases and decreases before we can see the trends in the old Active Cases graph. Due to the changes in isolation times from 10 days in 2020 to five days now, you can’t really compare the different waves of the pandemic accurately using the Active Cases graph. We only want to put out data to the public that is accurate and that we can stand behind.”

The new active cases summary will be on the Lyon County Dashboard in the Case Summary Charts Section.

On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the website, COVIDTests.gov, went online and began processing requests for COVID tests, which had become increasingly more difficult to find.

The Kansas Department of Health announced Tuesday, Jan. 18 they will no longer conduct contact outreach and monitoring starting Feb. 1, 2022.

“The pandemic is far from over, but this step is a move toward managing COVID-19 as an endemic disease,” Janet Stanek, KDHE Acting Secretary said. “The responsibility of protecting yourself and others belongs to all of us.”