Just over the weekend, Douglas County confirmed 103 new cases of the coronavirus, Lawrence health officials said Monday afternoon.
The county has at least 354 cases of COVID-19, according to Lawrence Douglas County Public Health.
Douglas County previously had low, steady confirmed case numbers. In May, the county regularly went several days without adding new cases, according to the case count from LDCPH. In recent weeks, as more places have reopened, its case numbers has significantly increased.
Of the 354 confirmed cases, 175 people have recovered and 7,178 have been tested. There are currently two inpatients at Lawrence Memorial Hospital who have tested positive.
Since Friday, 28 cases were classified as local transmission and 15 have been attributed to exposure to a known positive case, said LDCPH Communications Officer George Diepenbrock. The health department is still investigating the cause of transmission for many of the new cases.
Many recent cases stemmed from bar environments, Diepenbrock said.
Outbreaks were confirmed at two Lawrence bars popular with University of Kansas students: the Jayhawk Cafe and Bullwinkle’s Bar, known to students as The Hawk and The Bull. The health department recommends anyone who attended these bars monitor for symptoms.
All bars in Douglas County closed July 3 following an increase in cases. They were previously allowed to open under phase three of the county’s reopening plan.
The health department also announced last week that masks would be mandatory in public spaces where it is not possible to maintain six feet of social distancing starting.
There were 102 confirmed cases in Douglas County on June 22. The number has since risen to 354.
The county entered phase three of its reopening plan on June 8. All businesses, including bars and swimming pools, are allowed to open as long as they follow social distancing guidelines and cleaning practices. Mass gatherings are limited to 45 people. Bars and nightclubs have since been closed.
This phase of reopening was extended twice, most recently on July 2. The county can ease restrictions no earlier than July 17.
The county uses a number of metrics to determine when to move into the next phase of reopening. On Monday afternoon, all three metrics related to community spread of disease were marked “missed goal.”
The Kansas and Douglas County health departments release updates on case numbers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.