ICYMI: Active cases in Ellis Co. lowest this month; 12.7% of Kansans given first vaccine dose

BY JUSTIN SABATA

Ellis County COVID Update

According to the Ellis County Health Department’s COVID-19 Portal, virus numbers in Ellis County have decreased since last Wednesday. 48 active cases were announced Friday, the lowest so far this month. In an email statement, ECHD Health Services Director Jason Kennedy confirmed the continued lowered cases. 

“Ellis County Health Department is happy to report that beginning on November 23 and continuing to date we have seen a continued decrease in cases, hospitalizations and deaths,” Kennedy said. 

The weekly average percent-of-positives decreased from 8.5% to 5.6%. As a result, the overall rate dropped slightly (14.5% to 14.2%). 240 total tests were recorded from Monday to Wednesday by the health department. From Wednesday to Friday, 454 tests were reported. 

The Hays Post reported two COVID deaths in Ellis County since Wednesday, 72 in total. At the same time, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced 11 COVID deaths statewide.

The KDHE also gave their triweekly state vaccine report on Friday. The department’s dashboard reported that 370,500 people have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine (12.7% of Kansas population). 173,742 people have been given the second dose.

Ellis County was listed to receive 500 doses this week from the state. Nearby Russell County and Rooks County were scheduled to receive 100 doses. Rush County and Trego County did not receive any doses this week according to the dashboard. In the same email statement, Kennedy reported on the efficacy of the vaccine and encouraged residents to sign up for a vaccine. 

“The addition of multiple highly effective vaccines will further increase our ability to remain safe while moving forward with normal life,” Kennedy said. “ECHD encourages everyone to sign up and receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available for them.” 

FHSU COVID-19 Report 

Fort Hays State University updated their weekly COVID Dashboard Report on Tuesday. According to the data, from February 13 to February 19, 13 tests were administered at the Student Health Center. None of the tests returned positive at the time of the report. However, two test results are still pending. 

One student was held in quarantine on campus last week. Another student was in off-campus isolation provided by the university. A total of 256 surveillance tests were conducted by FHSU, the most this semester. Similar to the Student Health Center results, none of the tests were positive as of Tuesday. Seven results are currently pending. 

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