KDHE creates rating system to gauge COVID-19 response

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

TOPEKA – Linn County has not stacked up well compared to other counties in a new rating chart on COVID-19 response announced by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) last week.

On Monday, Aug. 30, Linn County was rated 99th out of 105 counties in terms of response to the coronavirus. Bourbon County fared worse at 103rd.

In a released statement, KDHE said the ratings were not a report-card, as multiple factors impact COVID-19 testing, case and vaccination rates. The release said the systems brings together the most critical COVID-19 metrics at a local level to help state, county, and local leaders work together to stop the spread of the dangerous COVID-19 Delta variant and keep Kansans safe and keep the economy open.

Three metrics are reported and ranked across each county:

  • Full series vaccination rate of eligible population (12+ year olds)

  • Seven-day daily average number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people

  • Seven-day daily average number of COVID-19 tests administered per 100,000 people

Those three rankings are then combined to generate a total score. The total scores for counties are then ranked from 1 to 105.

The report will be refreshed three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Here are the some of the results from Monday’s rating:

Tisha Coleman, Linn County Health Department director, called Linn County's showing, "Terrible, just terrible."

The efforts by Coleman and her staff to promote vaccinations, mask-wearing, hand sanitation and other measures that would reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been met with seeming indifference by county officials and – in some cases anger – by the public.

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