By BRADY BAUMAN
The City-Cowley County Health Department reports several Cowley County communities had 25 percent or more of its population infected with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.
According to a news release from the health department, Winfield and Ark City communities saw a third of its residents test positive for the virus. Winfield saw 4,350 residents test positive and Ark City tallied the most in the county at 4,552.
County-wide, 152 residents died due to complications from COVID since the first death was recorded April 2020.
The health department credits vaccines and gained immunity for the steep decline in infections since January’s record highs. To date, nearly 17,000 Cowley County residents have received the full series of COVID vaccine shots, which the health department says have proven 91-percent effective in preventing infection.