PAOLA – Miami County has seen a decline in new and active COVID-19 cases in the past week.

The county has recorded 46 new cases since Oct. 27, down 16 from the previous week. The county has 65 active cases, down 10 from the Oct. 27 report.

“School district cases are way down, just a handful of cases in the schools right now,” Emergency Management Coordinator Mark Whelan told the County Commission during its regular meeting Wednesday, Nov. 3.

Whelan said the county’s positivity test rate for the past two weeks is 6.47 percent, down from 7.81 percent in the previous two-week reporting period.

Commissioner Danny Gallagher asked Whelan how many of the 46 new cases were already vaccinated.

“I had a few people this last week ask me that,” Gallagher said, referring to breakthrough cases.

Whelan said he would try to get updated data about breakthrough cases for next week’s report.

The county has two new hospitalizations and no new intensive care unit patients in the past week, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Whelan said hospital bed availability is improving in the region.

“KDHE is reporting three new deaths, but looking at the data those appear to be very old (cases related to) changes to the database where they have been examining death certificates and files,” Whelan said.

KDHE reported as of Wednesday the county has recorded a total of 4,399 cases, 180 hospitalizations and 64 deaths.

The state health agency also reported that 51.5 percent of county residents over age 12 have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and about 47 percent have completed the vaccination series.

Whelan also provided commissioners with a personal protective equipment (PPE) distribution report for October.

“We distributed just under 253,000 items of PPE (in October),” Whelan said.

Some of the largest distributions were 165,300 KN-95 masks; 24,350 Level 3 surgical masks; 14,250 Level 1 kids’ masks; 650 N-95 masks; 10 gallons of hand sanitizer; 131 quarts of Best Choice cleaner and 110 quarts of disinfectant.

Commissioner Phil Dixon commended Whelan for the county’s PPE distribution efforts, especially to the business community.

“It’s been a big help to the businesses of Miami County,” Dixon said.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or

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