“COVID is not a hoax,” Dickinson County said in a press release Friday afternoon.

There were 70 new COVD-19 positive cases in the county this week, 15 in the student age group of 10 to 19. Another 14 was in the 60 to 69 age group, according to the Dickinson County Health Department’s Friday report.  

There are currently 176 COVID-19 active patients in the county with a daily increase over the past week averaging 14 cases per day, according the county’s release.

Eight of those patients are in the Abilene Memorial Hospital.

The county said that on Thursday there were 
578 students either quarantined due to exposure or tested positive.

“Believe it or not, the simplest things like wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands really are proven methods to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” the county release said. “So why does this matter to you? Up to this point, the pandemic really only affected those people who were exposed and quarantined, or contracted the COVID-19 virus and came down ill.”

Staff at Abilene Memorial Hospital is stressed but still operating as usual.

“Our staff is really getting tired,” said Harold Courtois, chief executive officer of Memorial Health System. “We are still accepting patients. I don’t want people to get the idea that we can’t take care of them. It’s getting busy but we are not at the point where we can’t handle patients.” 

“Wear a mask, protect yourself and protect your friends. It’s the simplest thing we can do to help protect us all!” the county release said.

However, the Dickinson County Commission did not issue a mask order at its Thursday meeting

“It will all be over after the election! So, if I get it, I get it, no big deal! It does not affect me! I am not wearing a mask, they don’t work and you cannot make me! Have you heard anyone say any of these statements the past nine months” the county said in its release. 

“I bet you have. Whether you believe this whole pandemic thing is real or not, it may have just become REAL to us all. Here are some facts that you need to know from right here in Dickinson County! Regardless of what you see and hear about the east and west coasts and the issues they are having, here is what we know about Dickinson County as of today!

 •Over the past few months we have monitored the weekly percentage of people that are being tested at Abilene Memorial Hospital and how many of those tests are positive for COVID. We have seen that percentage on average being 3% to 5% until recently, the average for the past 28-day cycle as of November 12th, was 26.5%. The average of the past 7 days is 29% and the numbers are rising.

• As of Friday morning Abilene Memorial Hospital reports that of the 12 patients that currently occupy their facility, 8 of those are COVID patients. This is the highest number of COVID patients that have been in the local hospital since this began. 

• All of the hospitals and trauma centers around Kansas, to include Salina Regional, Geary Community, Via Christi in Manhattan, Stormont Vail, and all KC Metro and Wichita hospitals are full, and no ICU beds are available across the state. 

• Local hospital staff are overwhelmed, understaffed, and many of them are now quarantined or isolated at home due to COVID leaving nobody to fill their work requirements at the hospital.”


Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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