Miami County was approaching 1,800 COVID-19 cases and had recorded 15 deaths as of Dec. 30, according to a Miami County Health Department report, in the waning hours of a difficult 2020 that offered no pandemic closure.

Active cases also showed no sign of slowing down into 2021. On Monday, Jan. 4, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported Miami County had 1,941 cases.

Miami County had 236 active cases as of 2 p.m. Dec. 30, an increase of 44 cases from the previous week, according to the health department.

Two new hospitalizations and three new deaths were reported since Dec. 23, according to the department’s report. The county has 1,792 total cases, of which 1,541 have recovered. The county had recorded 15 total COVID-19-related deaths, according to the report.

Health officials are investigating three new clusters: one in a long-term care setting, one in a government setting and one in a daycare setting, according to the report. Additional details about the clusters were not available.

“Of the approximate 236 active cases, they are widely distributed amongst multiple settings and spanning almost every city/town (incorporated and unincorporated) within Miami County,” the health department reported. “There are many case investigations that are yet to be initiated, and we have employed KDHE to assist in case investigations and contact tracing.”

The county has logged 9,564 tests. The average two-week positivity test rate was 13.1 percent for the weeks beginning Dec. 13 and Dec. 20, according to the report.

The health department reported there are three new and free COVID-19 testing sites in Miami County.

The free testing site in the parking lot of the adult education center in Paola has been extended through January. Appointments are encouraged, but not required, according to county health and emergency management officials. Go to the website listed above to schedule an appointment.

National Guard support for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 7 states also has been extended to March 31 to continue assisting with COVID-19 response being directed by the governors of the Region 7 states — Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska, according to a FEMA news release.

The Kansas Army National Guard was called to the Osawatomie State Hospital in November to assist with facility-wide testing of all staff and patients after a COVID-19 cluster/outbreak occurred.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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