COVID-19 vaccine eligibility expanding

COVID-19 cases have now dropped below 100 according to County numbers.

More Kansans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine next Monday.

Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington announced that the state would open up eligibility to those included in Phases 3 and 4 of its vaccination plan. That means most all people classified as essential workers or those with a broad variety of pre-existing health conditions.

“We’ve not gotten a large brand new shipment of vaccine other than the normal number that we get,” she said. “We don’t have gobs of vaccine ready at this time, and we’re looking forward to an increase.”

Redington said she was hoping the state would inform the county later in the week that it was upping future vaccination allotments to the county.

“They may keep us at the same, which is about 600, 700 first doses, and they do send us a booster dose—about 600 a week,” she said.

Redington said they would get news out as fast as they could moving forward on how the county would schedule vaccinations in future phases.

Redington said the county was hoping to move away from the labor-intensive wait list and instead open up self scheduling sign ups online. She said the county, in the future, would still work to provide phone access to people if they needed to schedule by phone.

She said the county has been working on getting all seniors in the county vaccinated. It’s since expanded its efforts to child care workers and higher education workers.

While the county has served as the primary source of vaccination during the winter, more and more opportunities have opened up as federal allocations flow into local pharmacies.

Both Hesston Pharmacy/Harvey Drug and Dillons have been able to offer vaccines.

She also said Axtell Clinic has been able to provide some shots. Health Ministries also recently assisted the county in distributing state-provided vaccines last Friday.

For those looking for vaccine availability, while the State of Kansas has a vaccine finding tool, the website appears to be more up-to-date and have better functionality, and we’d recommend using that.

Also, we’ve seen organizations such as Hesston Pharmacy and Health Ministries regularly posting sign up lists online via social media. Once you click the link, you can schedule a time. If you lack access or the ability to use the Internet, you can also call such organizations or enlist someone with access to help.

As for COVID-19 cases in county, the percent positive of COVID-19 cases continues to decrease. Last week, 2.93% of those taking a COVID-19 test were positive.

There were 40 new cases, 51 people currently have active cases, and three residents remain hospitalized.

The county continues to have a mask ordinance in effect and a ban on gatherings larger than 50 people.

Sixty-four residents of Harvey County have died.

Nearly a year since the county’s first case, 101 out of every thousand residents (10.1%) have had a positive diagnoses from COVID-19, and 1.85 out of every thousand residents have died from the disease.

Nationally, 89 out of every 1,000 Americans have been diagnosed with the disease, and 1.63 out of every 1,000 Americans have died from it.

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