WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hospitalizations in Sedgwick County are down to a level not seen since October of last year. The 14-day positivity rate is now down to 5.3% and leaders said if it continues, we could see fewer restrictions.
The latest county dashboard update shows only 93 total COVID-19 patients hospitalized at this time. Back in November, that number reached nearly 300.
“This past Monday, we had continued good news from their front,” said Tom Stolz, Sedgwick County manager. “Probably the best news we’ve had since September, early October of last year.”
The county considers the status for hospitals as “good.”
Stolz said the county takes the daily infection rate, vaccinations, and feedback from hospitals into consideration when making the decision. Doctors are local leaders agree that although progress is being made, it’s not time to back down on precautions just yet.
“We are able to work less hours per day when we have fewer COVID patients,” said Maggie Hagan, M.D., infectious disease specialist at Ascension Via Christi. “We still have the same staff of physicians ns seeing those patients, but we each have fewer patients to see every day which makes a difference in our time management for sure. The numbers could go back up. Just because things are looking better right now, we can’t take our foot off the gas. We have to continue to stick with what we know works.”
Stolz said it does feel good to see some progress.
“It’s a relief across the board,” said Stolz. “I just think if we can get further down the road here with vaccinations and masks and social distancing, things we’re doing today. Maybe we’re at the end of this tunnel.”
Officials said vaccinations are also helping with the numbers, especially having opened up vaccines to older populations first, as those are the people who are most at-risk for hospitalization.
To stay up-to-date on COVID-19 case numbers in Sedgwick County and other data, click here to access the county’s dashboard.