County COVID rankings tell the story

A recent report from KDHE reveals we MUST do better on COVID-19 vaccination rates across the state.



September 1, 2021 - 8:44 AM

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We’ve got to do better, folks.

In Thursday’s edition, we reported the the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has started ranking counties by factors influencing their COVID-19 transmission risk.

The news wasn’t good for Riley County. And in fact, it wasn’t great for adjacent counties, except for Geary.

Geary County is No. 6, Riley County is 49th and Pottawatomie County is 95th in the KDHE report (Allen County is 52nd, Woodson 94th, and Neosho 96th), which considers vaccination rates and per capita cases and tests. That’s out of 105 counties in Kansas.

In this ranking, 1 is good and the bigger numbers are bad, of course. Riley County is worse off than nearly half of all counties in the state? That’s not great. And Pott County, which of course includes Manhattan and lots of people who commute into town for work or class everyday, is near the very bottom.

As we reported Thursday, the rankings are based on three metrics:

Full series vaccination rate of eligible population (12+ years old)

Seven-day daily average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people

Seven-day daily average number of COVID-19 tests administered per 100,000 people

We think it’s worth repeating those numbers, because we have to do better.

As of Wednesday, the CDC indicated 101 out of 105 Kansas counties are at a “high” or substantial” risk of transmission. So even the top-ranked counties according to this list are not safe from COVID-19.

K-State is back in session, so there are a lot of new faces in town. But we all have to do what we can to keep from spreading COVID-19 in its many forms in our community.

We should be at the top of the chart. Let’s see what we can do to get there.

— Manhattan Mercury