Recent KDHE COVID-19 Chart Called Into Question by KPI

A recent widely-distributed chart of COVID-19 cases released by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment had the numbers right, but the chart gave many a wrong impression, according to the Kansas Policy Institute.

The chart released last week showed the average of daily cases per 100,000 population, divided by counties that mandated masks and those counties who recommended them.

Dave Trabert of the KPI says that the chart is deceptive because the two lines representing the two possibilities – mask-mandated counties and mask-recommending counties – are shown together, even though they are charted in different scales.

The scale for one is shown on one side of the chart, the other scale is on the other side of the chart, but the two lines are shown together in the middle of the chart.

This might give the casual observer the impression that the rate for mask-mandated counties had fallen below that of non-mandated counties, which is not the case.

From mid-July to early August, cases per 100,000 have fallen from about 25 to about 16 in mask-mandated counties, and from 10 to 9 in mask-recommended counties.