Crawford County COVID-19 case trends shifting to older adults

Health officials worried the trend could cause increased hospitalizations, deaths
Crawford County Covid Cases Shift Away From College Students

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Kan. – Health officials in Crawford County are starting to see an increase in people over the age of 26 with COVID-19.

Just a few weeks ago, 86 percent of positive cases in the county were people between 18 and 25. That age group now only encompasses 35 percent of the positivity rate.

26 to 45-year-olds make up 22 percent of people with COVID-19, 46 to 55-year-olds are at 15 percent, and people ages 56 and older are at 13 percent.

“The shift from the younger more healthy population to the older population with more likely other illnesses or other diseases, is the potential for greater community impact, specifically on our medical systems,” explains County Health Officer Dr. Timothy Stebbins. “We know historically that approximately 10-percent of cases of COVID-19 will result in a hospitalization, two to three percent could potentially be ICU cases. And so, with our number shifting, we’re concerned that that will cause an impact on the hospital systems within our community.”

He says they are also concerned about their capacity to refer patients to other hospitals since hospitals in other counties are also starting to see increases in hospitalized COVID patients.

“So this is an overall system challenge that we see and are concerned about, and that’s why we’re so active in working in mitigating the spread of COVID-19,” says Stebbins. “Try to decrease your risk of becoming a primary contact and then contracting COVID-19. Wearing a mask, which allows for source control, so that we’re not spreading the disease from people that are pre-symptomatic. The social distancing aspect, continue hand washing or hand sanitizing after contacts. And not touching your face. We can break the chain just by doing that without further impacting the community.”

As of Friday, 9/11, Crawford County 855 total cases, with 548 current under isolation and five deaths.