NEWTON—Lynnette Redington, director of the Harvey County Health Department , has been asked by commissioners and social media users about the recent Harvey County Fair and possible correlation to rising positive coronavirus numbers in the county since it was hosted.


Those questions came, in most cases, out of frustration that the events where large gatherings of people — who did not wear facial coverings — in the middle of a pandemic under a face mask order by the Harvey County Board of Health were allowed to continue.


The fair was limited to a mud volleyball tournament, two nights of rodeo, a demolition derby, an antique tractor pull and a carnival this year. All 4-H competitions were moved to online formats.


Tuesday Redington answered the number one question levied.


"We have no cases related to that event," Redington said. "We have nothing to attribute to groups getting together for that event."


She also said Tuesday that the of total case loads in the county — 46 — and the outbreak recorded during student registration at Bethel College, 34 were attributed to Bethel College.


"We are working very closely with them and as you can imagine there are multiple contacts for a number of the cases," Redington said. "... We have had some folks that have gone home and are residing at their home address, which means they do not count on our numbers. We have some individuals that never got reported to Harvey County and we cannot find them all. ... They are getting investigated on that end."


Redington said the Bethel outbreak did contribute to an increased positive testing rate — setting the rate at 12.8 percent.