Kansas has started the new year with the nation's highest rate of reported COVID-19 deaths over the past week.

Hays and Great Bend were the two worst city areas in the country for death reports per capita, and Comanche County was the worst county in the United States.

The rankings come from White House COVID-19 Task Force statistics, which uses nationwide data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White House's COVID-19 statistics include tests, cases and deaths reported in the last seven days, as well as hospital admission and capacity data. The information in the report was current as of Sunday and used statistics for the week ending Saturday — the most recent period available.

The White House started publicly releasing its data on the coronavirus pandemic last month. Statistics on cases and deaths are based on the date they were reported, not the date of symptom onset or death.

Kansas had 372 newly reported deaths in the last week, equating to a rate of 12.8 new deaths per 100,000 people, ranking as the worst U.S. state or territory. That figure is six times the White House's red zone threshold.

Kansas had the fourth-highest rate of new cases. The 18,056 new cases over one week equates to 620 per 100,000. That figure is also six times the White House's red zone threshold.

Calculating disease rates per 100,000 people is common in public health, allowing for comparisons of areas with different population sizes.

Kansas had the 18th-highest positive test rate at 16.4%. The White House red zone threshold is 10%.

Case rates and positive test rates "show the areas with the highest transmission, and may indicate areas at risk for stressed healthcare systems," the report notes.

The state ranked 28th for most confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100 inpatient beds. The 866 hospitalizations in one week equated to 11 per 100 beds.

Statewide, 57% of hospital beds are occupied — 12% with COVID patients, which is in the yellow zone. Of the staffed adult ICU beds in Kansas, 78% are occupied — 31% with COVID patients, which is in the red zone.

The report listed 128 hospitals with 7,873 total inpatient beds and 824 total staffed adult ICU beds in the state.

Metropolitan and micropolitan data

The White House also lists data by core-based statistical areas, including both metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Kansas had eight cities and their surrounding areas in the top 100 for recently-reported COVID-19 deaths compared to population. There were 940 cities on the list.

Hays had the worst death rate at 70 per 100,000, which is 35 times the red zone threshold. The city and its surrounding area had 20 deaths reported in the last seven days.

Great Bend ranked second, Liberal was sixth, Coffeyville was 38th, Hutchinson was 41st, Pittsburg was 64th, Winfield was 75th and Salina was 82nd.

The ranking of new cases by metropolitan and micropolitan areas had seven Kansas cities in the top 100.

Parsons and its surrounding area ranked second in the country at 1,601 new cases per 100,000 people, which is more than 16 times the red zone threshold. There were 314 total new cases over the last seven days.

Coffeyville ranked seventh, Winfield was ninth, Ottawa was 12th, Salina was 17th, Pittsburg was 41st and Wichita was 50th.

County data

The White House's data ranked Comanche County as the worst for newly reported deaths in the state and the country. It had three deaths reported, equating to 176.5 per 100,000.

Kansas had 15 counties in the top 100 of the list, which included 3,220 counties and county equivalents in U.S. states and territories.

Rawlins County was fourth, Rush County was 12th, Cherokee County was 13th, Morris County was 18th, Ellis County was 20th, Wallace County was 24th, Scott County was 26th, Barton County was 27th, Hodgeman County was 32nd, Brown County was 69th, Nemaha County was 75th, Seward County was 85th, Decatur County was 94th and Sumner County was 99th.

For new cases, Kiowa County had the worst rate in Kansas and the fourth-worst in the country. Its 45 new cases in the last week amounted to 1,818 new cases per 100,000 people. Kansas had 20 counties in the top 100.

Rooks County was fifth, Labette County was eighth, Chautauqua County was 10th, Anderson County was 14th, Greenwood County was 21st, Lincoln County was 23rd, Montgomery County was 33rd, Wilson County was 35th, Cowley County was 51st, Saline County was 52nd, Neosho County was 56th, Bourbon County was 58th, Franklin County was 59th, Wabaunsee County was 62nd, Osborne County was 64th, Rice County was 73rd, Pawnee County was 76th, Butler County was 83rd and Doniphan County was 94th.

Positive test rate data showed Sheridan County as the worst in Kansas and the 10th-worst nationwide, at 70.8%. The state had eight counties in the top 100.

Woodson County was 20th, Greeley County was 28th, Rooks County was 37th, Smith County was 55th, Wabaunsee County was 67th, Dickinson County was 87th and Osborne County was 92nd.

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