COVID-19 vaccines helping local residents

By Adam Strunk

Five of the most recent Harvey County residents to be hospitalized for COVID-19 were not fully vaccinated and 28 of the last 31 positive cases were not fully vaccinated.
That was the report from Harvey County Health Department Director Lynnette Redington, making the case for residents to continue to get vaccinated for COVID-19.

“Vaccinations do make a difference,” Redington said. “The effectiveness has been noted at about 90 percent now.  Getting vaccinated is important to keep you healthier and out of the hospital.”
The county has 15 active cases and saw 13 new cases this week.

The two-week percent positive rate for the county dropped below 3 percent to 2.61 percent. That means for every 100 that were tested for COVID-19, 2.61 tested positive for the virus.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment adopted Center for Disease Control recommendations this week and the health department clarified at its weekly press conference CDC recommendations about masks.

If you’re considered fully vaccinated – two weeks since your final COVID-19 vaccine shot – you no longer should have to wear your mask out and about in public, especially around others who are vaccinated or in places where you can distance more than six feet.

“We’re recommending to wear your mask when you’re in crowds outdoors and indoors if you can’t keep six feet distancing,” she said.

Vaccines are now available in the county for those ages 12 and up. Pfizer received emergency FDA approval last week as safe for those ages 12-15.

As a whole, Harvey County continues to be the most vaccinated county in South Central Kansas and ranks in the top 10 in state vaccination metrics.

Some 53.3 percent of residents over the age of 16 have received at least one dose. 47.3 percent of residents older than 16 have been fully vaccinated.

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