By Adam Strunk
The winter COVID-19 surge is ebbing.
That’s at least the trend in hospitalization data provided by the Harvey County Health Department.
This week, the department reported no county residents hospitalized for COVID-19 and no new hospitalizations.
The last time the county ended a week with no hospitalizations was Nov. 15.
Hospitalizations of residents per week have trended down for residents since mid January.
Last week, NMC Health Chief Clinical Officer Heather Porter stated that vaccinations were the best way the community could help the hospital avoid future surges, as around 90 percent of COVID-19 patients the hospital sees now are unvaccinated.
The local data matches statewide trends. The Kansas Hospital Association shows COVID-19 hospitalizations falling since the third week in January, though, for context, the number of hospitalizations—1,810 reported to start the month—remains higher than any total observed in 2022.
The number of new people receiving a vaccine this week totaled around 1.3 per thousand eligible residents, or about 46.
Harvey County is the fifth most vaccinated county in Kansas with 60.17 percent of the eligible population completely vaccinated.
The number of confirmed cases is no longer a completely accurate measurement of community spread, thanks to at-home testing that’s been available for more than a month.
Still, those confirmations have dropped from nearly 900 confirmed active cases in mid January to 233 reported this week and, taken in conjunction with the hospitalization data, also points to a decreasing number of cases.