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Spike in positive COVID-19 cases in Ford County related to a push in testing

Coronavirus in Kansas

FORD COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Symptoms or no-symptoms, Ford County is testing as many people as they can who may have been in contact with a person or place that is connected to the virus. Officials said that’s why the numbers have increased so much. 

Governor Laura Kelly sent more tests for some communities in southwest Kansas. Ford County is one. Officials said it has helped and that they have been aggressive in testing everyone connected to each case.

“We have a lot of people that are asymptomatic, and we have a lot of people that are recovering. We’ve had, we’ve had maybe one non-critical hospitalization. And we haven’t had any death so that’s a big deal,” said Ford County PIO JD Gilbert.

As for cases connected to meatpacking plants, JD Gilbert said Ford County is working with private sectors to ensure they’re taking the right precautions.

“As we go through those investigations, we are not going to release where those cases are coming from the precautions the public are going to make are going to be the same,” he said.

Gilbert said they have rapid tests reserved for certain cases and while they don’t have an off-site testing center, they may consider it if their health departments become overwhelmed. 

While it takes time to investigate, Gilbert believes the aggressive approach has helped prevent the spread. He also said he hopes the community will take the current stay at home order seriously.

“We’re finding that if there were social, social distancing and people saying home, we probably wouldn’t have as many cases as we have, so of course, I mean, we could always do better,” he said.

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