The COVID-19 pandemic’s growth has slowed in the U.S. New confirmed cases rose at over 200,000 a month ago. Yesterday, they were up 64,375 to 28,325,091, which is 25% of the world’s total. Death in the U.S. rose by 4,000 many days a month ago. Yesterday, there were up by 1,660 to 502,493, about 20% of the world’s total. However, many scientists and public health experts worry that new variants of the disease could spread more quickly, and may be more deadly. Three of these are now in the U.S. And, as the number of cases of people infected by these grows, there may be a race with vaccination rates to keep away another surge.
Scientists, medical experts, and the media use several ways to measure the spread and presence of COVID-19. Among them are raw numbers of confirmed cases, recovered cases, fatal cases, and hospitalizations. Another is to measure cases and death per 100,000 people. This allows experts to make comparisons across counties and states regardless of population size.
Based on this per 100,000 figure the state with the most deaths is Kansas at 1.23 as averaged over the last seven days. At the other end of the spectrum, Hawaii is at .05. Among the Kansas counties, the one hardest hit is Scott County at 14.81, nearly twice the figure for the next highest county in the state by the same measure.
Scott County is located in the center West part of the state, toward the Colorado border. Its primary town is Scott City. The county has a population of 4,823, based on a U.S. Census estimate for 2019. That figure is a drop of 2.3% from 2010.
Almost 78% of the people who live in Scott County are White. Another 18% are Hispanic. The median household income in Scott County is $65,417, which is slightly below the national average. The poverty rate, at 7.9% is much lower than the U.S. figure.
As is the case in almost every state in the country, figures for COVID-19 infections and deaths have fallen in Kansas. Confirmed cases number 294,010, and rose a modest 141 yesterday. Over the last several weeks, increases have been over 2,000 a day. Fatal cases in the state stand at 4,614 and did not rise yesterday. The daily increase of fatal cases was over 100 twice in the last month.
Kansas, like every other state, is in a race. At least three new variants are in the U.S. and one almost certainly spreads faster than that which has infected Americans over the last year. The statistics for the rate at which Kansas has vaccinated its adult population is in the bottom half of all states at 12% compared to the national average of 13%.
Eventually, the brunt of the disease will move from Scott County to elsewhere in the U.S. as it has for a year. In the meantime, the county has to deal with the horrible deadliness of COVID-19.