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Early results from the first round of random sample COVID-19 testing administered by the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment last week has found nine positives among 330 tests processed, an infection rate of 2.7%.
Sanmi Areola, PhD, director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, characterized those results as evidence that residents have done a good job of helping mitigate community spread of the virus through adherence of stay-at-home orders and hygiene guidelines. However, he said, the apparent success of efforts to bend the curve doesn’t mean the county can lift restrictions immediately.
“Definitely way too early to roll back — we don’t want to lose the gains that we have made,” Areola said during a public health update Tuesday that was streamed online from the county government chambers in Olathe. “So we are continuing to ask you to continue to keep doing the things that you are doing.”
At a special meeting of the board of county commissioners on Monday, three commissioners told county staff that they had been getting a wave of inquiries from residents about when the restrictions could be lifted so that more normal life could resume.
During Tuesday’s briefing, Areola said the county health department would be using data from last week’s tests and future random samples to make recommendations about when and how to ease back into regular daily life. He said that moving too quickly could increase the risk of a resurgence of the virus that would necessitate another round of restrictions.
“Obviously, if we are rolling back, this is not something we can do at once,” Areola said. “That’s something we have to think out appropriately, again to make sure to that we don’t have to do this again.”
New data dashboard provides current info on COVID-19 in Johnson County
The county this week also launched a new tracking dashboard with data on the COVID-19 outbreak here.
The dashboard includes the latest information on:
- the number of confirmed cases in the county
- the number of hospitalizations and level of medical intervention needed
- demographic information about patients who have been infected
- the number of tests administered
- geographic location of confirmed cases
The graph released with the launch of the site shows that the highest concentration of cases in the county are in the 66061, 66062 and 66213 zip codes, which cover parts of Olathe, Overland Park and Lenexa.
As of Wednesday morning, there have been 318 positive test results in Johnson County and 16 deaths.