BY JUSTIN SABATA
As the year concluded, the State of Kansas recorded the most COVID-related deaths in a week since the beginning of the pandemic. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 331 new deaths from last Monday to Friday, the most since December 4 to December 8.
The KDHE also reported 5,312 new cases statewide since Wednesday. According to the New York Times, four counties have recorded over 10,000 total cases (Sedgwick, Johnson, Wyandotte, and Shawnee).
Vaccinations for COVID-19 began distributing through Kansas a few weeks ago. In Ellis County, medical staff began receiving vaccinations before the holidays began. However, as reported by KCTV5 News on New Year’s Eve, Kansas ranked last in the country in total vaccinations. KCTV5 also reported that Missouri had vaccinated over five times the amount of its bordering state.
Ellis County has seen a rise in deaths over the past two weeks (nine since December 21). However, active cases significantly declined from 249 last Monday to 147 the following Wednesday. The weekly average percent-of-positives also declined by over 3% during the same time. Due to the holiday, the Ellis County Health Department did not publish an update on Friday.
The ECHD continues to encourage residents to take appropriate precautions as the pandemic continues into the new year. These precautions include not gathering in groups, social distancing, washing your hands, wearing a mask if social distancing is not possible, and isolating and consulting a doctor if you are feeling symptoms.
The Ellis County Commission is scheduled to meet Monday, January 4, in the Commission Room at the Ellis County Administrative Center. The meeting can be viewed online via the county’s Youtube and Facebook pages.