Johnson County again at ‘high’ risk from COVID-19 — Here is the latest health data

County COVID-19 testing

For the first time since February, Johnson County last week entered the "high-risk" community level for COVID-19, according to the CDC. Above, a health care worker conducts a drive-thru COVID-19 test earlier this year in Johnson County. File photo credit Leah Wankum

For the first time since the winter, Johnson County is once again at “high” risk of community levels for COVID-19, according to the CDC.

Why it matters: Johnson County entered the medium-risk level in early July, and by July 14 had been upped to the high-risk level, per the county-by-county CDC’s COVID-19 tracker.

  • Sanmi Areola, director of Johnson County Department of Health and Environment, told the Post via email that this is the first time since late February that thresholds for hospitalization indicators were in the “high” category.
  • Other surrounding communities, including Wyandotte, Leavenworth and Douglas counties in Kansas and Jackson County, Missouri, are also in the “high” risk category now, according to the CDC COVID-19 tracker.
  • Areola told the Post via email that “JCDHE communicates often with others in the region” regarding COVID-19.

Latest numbers: The county’s incidence rate, per JCDHE’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of July 15 is 243 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days — up from 209 new cases as of July 12. The percent positivity rate as of July 18 is 28.2%.

  • Areola said the two metrics have increased, moving the county from the “medium” to “high” category: The rate per 100,000 population and the number of new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000.
  • The last time the case rate exceeded 200 per 100,000 was in mid-February, Areola said.
  • Only one of three metrics the CDC looks at — including new COVID-19 admissions per 100,000, the percent of beds occupied by COVID-19 patients and new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents — needs to be in the high-risk criteria for the entire community to be moved to “high” label, Areola previously told the Post.

What this means for you: Areola said Johnson Countians should continue to take the same preventative measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 that have been recommended now for nearly two years.

  • Getting fully vaccinated, including booster for those who are eligible, is still the primary way to fend off the virus’s impacts, Areola said.
  • JCDHE also recommends that members of the public should wear masks indoors now, too.
  • Testing for COVID-19 is also important, as is staying home when not feeling well, Areola said.

Key quote: “Being up to date on vaccinations is especially important for those that are more vulnerable to the serious consequences of infection,” Areola told the Post via email.