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Shawnee County COVID-19 indicator increase 5 points after rise in cases



TOPEKA, Kan. – Shawnee County’s COVID-19 indicator jumped up five points but remains in the “moderate” phase. The overall score of 7 sits near the top end of the moderate spectrum.

The county reported 111 COVID-19 cases between March 14-20, the indicator said. Positivity rate remains in the low category at 4%. The 111 cases would still be in the moderate phase on the old COVID-19 scorecard.

Health department officials told The Topeka Capital-Journal they were expecting an increase in cases after spring break, St. Patrick’s Day and after the Shawnee County commissioners lifted COVID-19 restrictions.

Shawnee County’s new COVID-19 indicator was introduced last week and dropped to a score of 2 in its first release. The new tracking metric classifies each category as either a “core” measure or “secondary” measure.

Core measures, which are weekly COVID-19 cases and positivity rate, are weighted heavier than secondary measures, which are trend in incidence, case investigation stress, contact tracing stress measure and hospital stress index.

Weekly cases, trend in cases and case investigation were the three measures that increased into higher categories while contact tracing stress decreased to the low category.

Stormont Vail has 16 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday and the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis campus had two positive patients on Monday.

The health department continues to encourage people to wash their hands, wear masks and watch their distance.

“It will be important now to keep an eye on whether the increase of cases in the previous week becomes a trend,” the scorecard indicator said.