County COVID cases at 115, health department gives report on vaccinations, free testing

BY JUSTIN SABATA

Ellis County residents saw a little reprieve from COVID numbers late last week. 

Last Friday, the Ellis County Health Department reported 85 active COVID cases, less than the more than 200 active cases reported towards the end of 2020. Last weekend, 28 new cases and no new deaths were reported in the county. Throughout Kansas, 5,180 new cases and 107 new deaths were reported during the same time period. 

Since Monday, over 4,500 cases, 100 deaths, and 189 hospilizations have been reported by the KDHE.

No new deaths have been reported in Ellis County since January 6.

Ellis County had 115 active cases as of Wednesday according to the ECHD’s COVID-19 Portal. At the same time, six residents were hospitalized with the virus, down from nine on Monday. The weekly average percent-of-positives rate also increased from 14.2% on Monday to 16.7% on Wednesday. Over the past week, the county has averaged nine new cases per day. The ECHD reported 24 tests from Monday to Wednesday. 

The ECHD will continue providing free drive-thru COVID testing until the end of the month. Testing hours run from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM at the Big Creek Crossing in Hays. Due to high winds, drive-thru testing will be closed until Friday. Questions regarding testing can be found here.

Last Friday, the health department announced via Facebook that the current supply of COVID vaccines had run out. The county is currently awaiting for the next shipment to arrive from the state. 

At the end of last year, Kansas was ranked among the lowest in COVID vaccinations. According to the KDHE, over 98,000 doses were given as of Wednesday afternoon. The CDC COVID Data Tracker ranks Kansas 30th among U.S. states in vaccines administered per 100,000 people, lower than each bordering state except Missouri. 

Although COVID vaccines are currently unavailable in Ellis County, the health department is providing a vaccine request form for county residents. Requests will be prioritized in accordance with the recommendations of the KDHE

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