Jan 24, 2022

Doniphan County COVID numbers continue to rise during spike

Posted Jan 24, 2022 3:45 PM


St. Joseph Post

Doniphan County Health Officials are continuing to see rising positive COVID-19 cases as numbers continue to spike.

Health Department Director Sheryl Pierce says the positivity rate in the northeast Kansas County has risen to 45%.

Pierce says while not all tests at the health department disclose the COVID-19 variant patients might have, the state of Kansas reports about 90% of the counties positive tests have been the Omicron variant.

"It is fast spreading, less severe, at least for the population that we are seeing getting it right now," Pierce tells KFEQ/St. Joseph Post. "We are seeing some of the fully vaccinated people with it, but typically their symptoms aren't very severe at all."

Pierce says the department saw a surge of residents coming in to get tested all through last week, and says she's appreciative of how aware the county has been to come get tested when they are feeling sick.

As health officials test people for the virus, they now have to do it without contact tracing, after the Kansas Department of Health and Environment discontinued it.

Pierce says previously, the health department and schools would contact those that were in close contact with a person who tested positive, and now it's all up to the individual.

"We're just asking that people that are positive, that they notify everybody they've been around 48 hours before their symptoms started," Pierce says. "And inform them that their positive, and to watch for symptoms, and to get tested if they have any symptoms."

Pierce says the health department is testing people Monday through Friday at the health department for free, but you need to call the health department in Troy by noon at 785-985-3591.

Pierce says there is good news in the middle of this storm.

As many people are testing positive, the county is also starting to see its vaccination rate starting to go up.

"We were sitting on 33% for a long time, now we're close to 40% with the overall rate," Pierce says. "So, we're very pleased with that, although we'd like to see it at 70 or 75%, or at least over 50%, so we are working hard to educate and have the vaccine available readily for the public."

Pierce says the department is still urging those five and older to come out and get the shot.  The vaccination rate for ages five to 11 is one of the lowest in the county.