Leavenworth County has low COVID-19 community rate, despite CDC map

covid CDC map
Posted at 5:38 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 18:38:37-04

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY, Kan. — When you look at the current COVID-19 community levels by county map on the Center for Disease Control website, you'll notice the only counties in the Kansas City area in the "high" category are Leavenworth and Wyandotte.

Jamie Miller, director of the Leavenworth County Health Department, said there's an explanation.

The two counties are grouped together in the same health service area by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Meaning, both counties get the same rank.

"We are being separated for our total cases, but anything related to the hospital admissions, which is a major portion of the calculation of that, is all about hospitals and unfortunately our hospitals that we are being accounted for are in the Wyandotte County area," Miller said.

Miller said the CDC map has caused some confusion and frustration among county residents over the last few weeks.

The agency changed its metrics for ranking counties in February, saying it will now focus on the situation in hospitals to determine a county's rank.

Miller said Leavenworth County is actually in the low category based on other metrics.

However, the map, which factors hospitalizations in much more now, shows a different story.

"Unfortunately it puts us into this calculation that makes it really look like we are in this high category," Miller said. "But that's why I continue to put out our statistics to our community on a regular basis to really show where we are at, we only had two hospitalizations in the last seven days."

The CDC only updates the map every seven days, but Miller said he anticipates the counties ranks both dropping soon as hospitalizations continue to decline in the region.

He said the counties may even see a drop to the moderate category as soon as this week.

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