There has been at least one more community member death associated with COVID-19, according to the Geary County Health Department, as of Thursday afternoon.

This brings the county’s unofficial death toll from the virus to a total of 18.

Between Thursday and today, the health department added a total of 10 new positive cases of the virus and 32 recoveries, lowering the total number of known, active positive cases of the virus in the community to 139.

At this time, five community members remain hospitalized with the virus, according to the health department.

As of Friday morning, Geary Community Hospital’s testing site has conducted 6,969 total COVID-19 tests since the pandemic arrived in the community in spring. Of these tests, 6,051 have come back negative for the virus and 909 of them have been positive for COVID-19. As of Friday’s update, there were still nine tests pending results out of the GCH site. Of the five patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at GCH, two of them are in the Intensive Care Unit and one of the ICU patients is on a ventilator.

The Kansas Department of Health and the Environment tracks COVID-19 cases all across the state on its website at using a map that breaks COVID-19 statistics down by county. According to the KDHE’s COVID-19 map, Geary County has had a total of 2,054 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic.

This count differs from that of the health department, which totals 1,245. According to health department officials, this difference is because the health department does not have the authority to investigate cases of COVID-19 in certain parts of Geary County, while the KDHE’s authority covers the whole of the county. Therefore, cases of COVID-19 listed by the KDHE but not accounted for by the health department have occurred in parts of the county the health department does not cover. This accounts for the difference of 809 between the KDHE’s count and that of the health department.

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