A severe and deadly outbreak of COVID-19 that has ravaged the Norton community is by far the worst recorded in Kansas since the start of the pandemic, health officials say.
The Reflector reports that Governor Laura Kelly called the outbreak a “stark reminder” that the threat of COVID-19 is real, even in rural areas.
She said she was directing state resources to assist with the outbreak.
The number of active cases in Norton, which has a population of about 2,900, would translate to 5,500 per 100,000 people.
A spokesperson for the Kansas Department for Health and Environment said the rate of infection in the northwest Kansas community is one of the worst of any community in the country.
The local hospital and mortuary are struggling with capacity issues, she said.
Two more northwest Kansas counties – Gove and Sheridan – are also spiking in infections.
The governor said two-thirds of active COVID-19 cases now are outside of the Kansas City and Wichita regions.