County commission hears virus update

Meghan Flynn
Colleen Drees, Finney County Health Department director, updates the Finney County Commission on Monday on the county's response to COVID-19.

The Finney County Commission was updated on COVID-19 statistics at the commission’s regular meeting Monday.

Colleen Drees, Finney County Health Department director, said there has been an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks.

For the week of Aug. 21 to Sept. 4, the health department tested 145 people. Of those, 30 were positive, giving a 21% positivity rate.

For the week of Sept. 7 to 11, the health department tested 193 people, 19 of whom were positive for a positivity rate of 10%.

Drees said the data from this week is only for four days, rather than the typical five, because of Labor Day.

For the week of Sept. 14 to 18, the data isn’t complete as not all test results have been returned, but over 375 people were tested, of whom 43 or more were positive by 8:30 a.m. Monday. The results from 195 tests were pending.

Drees said this is a big increase, the testing numbers have more than doubled.

“We went, in three weeks time, from testing 145 to over 375 being tested,” she said. “That is just our numbers at the health department, that’s 30 positives in a week. We’re now up over 43 positives in a week just from our sample group and does not include what positives we get from the hospital Kearny County, Genesis and other area health departments.”

The health department is working on completing the data from last week, Drees said.

In other business, the health department was awarded funding from several grants totaling $875,000 and is working to update the dashboard on its website.