Thursday, 20 new cases of COVID-19 were announced by the Geary County Health Department and 19 new recoveries were announced alongside them. Friday afternoon, 16 new cases of the virus were identified and 17 new recoveries were named, keeping the county’s number of active cases of the virus steady at 140 since Wednesday afternoon.

At this time, two people are hospitalized with the virus, by the health department’s count.

The health department did not list a death count Thursday or Friday. However, the last unofficial death count for Geary County listed the community at a total of 21 deaths from the virus. The health department is still in the process of verifying deaths of Geary County residents who were hospitalized with the virus in other counties while Geary Community Hospital was unable to take them, so this number may change.

GCH released some COVID-19 statistics of its own Friday morning.

According to GCH, its COVID-19 testing site has conducted a total of 7,152 tests for the virus since the pandemic began. Of these, 6,193 have come back negative for COVID-19 and 950 have come back positive for the virus. There were still nine COVID-19 tests pending results out of the GCH site as of Friday morning’s update.

GCH currently has two people hospitalized with the virus receiving inpatient care at its facility as of Friday.

The Kansas Department of Health and the Environment has been tracking cases of COVID-19 around the state since the pandemic first arrived here in March of 2020. The KDHE tracks cases of the virus on a map located at www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/160/COVID-19-in-Kansas on the KDHE’s website.

The KDHE’s map reports Geary County as having had a grand total of 2,441 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

This differs from the health department’s count, which lists the community at a total of 1,335 since spring of 2020, a difference of 1,106.

The KDHE’s count as of Wednesday was 2,389, so the state’s count for Geary County has increased by 52 since then.

According to Geary County Health Department Director Tammy Von Busch, the county health department tracks Geary County numbers while the KDHE tracks Geary County and Fort Riley’s cases.

“I’m not sure where the state always gets their numbers,” she said in an email sent Thursday. "We track Geary County while the state gets Geary County and (Fort) Riley. Sometimes their numbers are duplicated and we can’t get them to remove people who have been reported twice."

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