New COVID-19 cases continue to drop in Kansas — but so does testing
New COVID-19 cases have continued to plummet in Kansas, but so have tests performed for the virus, part of a national trend as the pandemic eases in many parts of the country.
Data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment showed only 37,783 COVID-19 tests had been run in March. The number of tests conducted per 100,000 residents is the lowest it has been since April of 2020, shortly after the pandemic began in full force.
Nationally, data from Johns Hopkins University shows that testing has dropped by roughly one-third since January. Still, JHU figures show that Kansas has the second-lowest rate of testing per 100,000 residents of any state in the country.
Lee Norman, secretary for health and environment, said last week the need to get tested hasn't diminished, especially as spring break travel and better weather could lead to more cases.
“We think that we might see a little bit of a bump, an increase that is, at spring break time with people doing more traveling than they have been,” Norman said during a briefing hosted by the University of Kansas Health System last week. “We’re encouraging people to test before they go and test upon return just to identify cases that may not be symptomatic.”
Still, COVID-19 cases continue to tick down in Kansas. KDHE reported an increase of 625 cases since Friday, as well as a rise of eight deaths and 15 new hospitalizations in that timeframe.
Kansas reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 1,524 new cases. That's down 15.7% from the previous week's toll of 1,807 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Kansas ranked 44th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows.
Over 1 million vaccine doses have now been administered, with over 676,000 of those being first doses, according to KDHE. Statewide, 23.2% of all Kansans have gotten at least one shot, with more set to be able to get the shots starting Monday, with a major expansion of vaccine eligibility set to begin.