FORD COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -- Ford County, Kansas was once considered a nationwide hotspot for the coronavirus.

The virus whipped through the community in April and May, but it has significantly dropped.

GFX statewide cases

The decrease comes at the same time many other communities are dealing with surges in cases.

Ford County Administrator J.D. Gilbert says testing and tracing were key.

“What we did is we tested everyone,” Gilbert explained.

KCTV5 recently traveled to Dodge City, where one in 16 people have tested positive for coronavirus. Many cases were asymptomatic.

“When you see New York or Houston with thousands of deaths, they think the same thing is happening here. It’s not,” Gilbert said.

Ford County’s death rate is currently around 0.5%.

“It’s been mild here and we aren’t seeing the same virus everyone else is seeing. I don’t know if it’s a different strain. I don’t want to get into that, but the effects on the community are not the same as everywhere else,” Gilbert said.

Not only is the pool open, kids will be back to school before Labor Day. Classes begin on Aug. 25.

There is no mandatory mask policy in Ford county, but a lot of people choose to wear them. Businesses have made changes to add distance and limit contact to keep customers safe. Handwashing is a high priority.

It appears the wide open spaces, early testing, and extensive contract tracing have paid off for Ford County.

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