TOPEKA: A coronavirus outbreak has killed 10 residents in a nursing home in a northwestern Kansas county that proportionally already had the nation's largest increase in cases over two weeks.
The health department in Norton County reported on Monday (Oct 20) night that all 62 residents and an unspecified number of employees at the Andbe Home in Norton had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The agency also said one Andbe Home resident was hospitalised, while the remaining 51 were being treated at the home.
“Steps are being taken to prevent any further outbreak, including quarantining residents in their rooms and not allowing outside visitors into the facility,” the county health department said in a statement Monday evening.
The outbreak at the nursing home came after the state Department of Health and Environment last week reported more than 100 cases at the state's prison in Norton over the two weeks ending on Wednesday.
Kansas is seeing an average of more than 700 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases a day, its largest numbers since the pandemic reached the state in early March.
But northwestern Kansas has been hit hard by coronavirus in recent weeks, and Norton County had the largest number of new cases per 100,000 residents of any county in the U.S. for the two weeks ending Sunday, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
The Kansas health department said that cases in Norton County rose from 46 two weeks ago to 340 as of Monday in Norton County. With about 5,400 residents, that was an increase of 5,484 cases per 100,000 residents, according to the state’s figures.
But the state released its report before Norton County officials confirmed that all Andbe Home residents had tested positive for coronavirus and before local officials reported 10 deaths at the home.
The 15 counties in the state’s northwest corner together had 987 new coronavirus cases during the past two weeks, an increase of nearly 49per cent, to bring the total to 3,024, according to state health department data.
With 80,000 people living in the region, the increase was 1,226 cases for every 100,000 residents, more than three times the state’s figure.
Two other northwest Kansas counties, Sheridan and Gove, also were among the top 20 counties in the nation for the largest proportional increases in cases for the two weeks ending Sunday, based on Johns Hopkins data.
The state health department reported Monday that Kansas had 2,113 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases since Friday, an increase of 3per cent that brought the pandemic total to 72,968. The department also reported 13 additional COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the total to 872 before the nursing home deaths in Norton were reported.
Kansas had an average of 729 new cases a day for the seven days ending Monday after first exceeding 700 cases a day for the seven days ending Oct. 12. The record is 743 cases for the seven days ending Wednesday.
The state on Monday also reported its first COVID-19-related staff death at one of its four hospitals for the mentally ill or the developmentally disabled.
The Department for Aging and Disability Services, which oversees the hospitals, said an employee at the state's mental hospital in Larned in southwestern Kansas died last week but said the staffer had not been on hospital grounds for several weeks. The department did not identify the staffer.
In Olathe in the Kansas City area, a middle school classroom assistant died from CRead More – Source
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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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