Active cases drop below 20, vaccine percentage continues to rise

COVID Vaccine taking place in Harvey County
File Photo. Nurse Emily Newhouse, left, gives a COVID-19 vaccine to Stephanie McCorkle, R.N., at Newton Medical Center. Wendy Nugent/HC Now

By Adam Strunk

For the first time since early October, the county has fewer than 20 active COVID-19 cases.

During the last week, active cases dropped to 17. The county added about two cases a day during the week, the lowest growth rate in six months, as well.
“”We’re doing a fantastic job,” Health Department Director Lynnette Redington said.

The infection total climbed to 3,549, meaning now at least 10 percent of the county has had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
The percent positive rate for COVID-19 rates was at 5.11 percent.

“Continue to get tested,” Redington said of people with symptoms or those who may have been exposed. “There are three free testing facilities.”

Harvey County has one resident hospitalized. It added no deaths this week.

For context, the state of Kansas had a death free weekend, as well.

While the news presented at the health department’s press conference was positive, Redington did say that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment discussed with local health departments the recent surge of cases from mutated versions of COVID-19.

These versions have been spreading easier than previous versions on the coasts, in Michigan and in other countries, such as Brazil.

So far, we’ve yet to have a confirmed case of a variant in Harvey County.

On the vaccination front, the county is up to 35.4 percent of its residents having received at least one vaccine.

That number still outpaces state averages.
“That is fantastic,” Redington said. “We’re still leading our surrounding counties.”
The county is offering vaccines to anyone that’s interested. Locations such as Health Ministries, Harvey Drug and Hesston Pharmacy, Dillons and now Walmart have been offering vaccines.

Redington said Walmart recently informed the county that it would have Johnson and Johnson vaccine — a one shot inoculation against COVID-19 — available later this week.

To find a vaccination visit vaccinefinder.org.  The Harvey County Health Department website also hosts vaccination information. To find a list of clinics visit https://www.harveycounty.com/covid19vaccine.