County sees first case of COVID-19 variant

By Adam Strunk

Nearly 40 percent of Harvey County has been vaccinated.

Out of that group, there have been two cases of a person contracting COVID-19.

The health department reported the cases called “breakthrough cases” during its April 27 press conference. Both cases occurred in people under 40 and in both cases, the illness was very mild, Health Department Director Lynnette Redington said.

“So, most likely, they would have went to work if they could have,” she said.
One of those cases tested positive as a COVID-19 variant. Redington said it was from a New York strain of the virus, one not as virulent or dangerous as some of the other variants.

Nationwide 7,157 people of the 87 million fully vaccinated have tested positive for the virus post vaccination or less than one person per every 10,000 fully vaccinated. Field studies show a decrease in risk of contracting the virus by around 90 percent for those two weeks after receiving their second dose.

Harvey County has 15 active cases to date, an increase of nine over the week prior. Numbers have edged up. They saw reports of 19 new cases this week and a slight uptick of the percent positivity rate in those tested, increasing to 2.9 percent.

As cases increase slightly, demand for the vaccine is beginning to fall off.
“The demand is not as high as it once was,” Redington said. “The supply is here.
Folks want a dose, we will get you in for your first or your second.”

Harvey County now ranks in eighth in vaccination rates in Kansas counties and is outpacing all of its neighbors with 398.8 per 1,000 residents vaccinated. The increase in vaccinations has slowed, however.
The vaccination percentage in the county increased by 1.1 percent over the last week, below the three percent pace seen earlier in the month.