COVID vaccine difficulties addressed by government; 60 active cases, 5 hospitalizations in Ellis County

JUSTIN SABATA

*information from Wednesday

Ellis County

16 new cases were reported by the health department on Wednesday. Active hospitalizations remained the same at five and active cases decreased to 60. The weekly average percent-of-positives rose 0.6 to 8.4% but the overall rate (since the pandemic began) decreased by 0.1 to 16%. As of Wednesday, 20,154 tests have been administered in Ellis County.

Previously, on Monday, the Ellis County Health Department reported seven new cases and 72 active cases. An additional death was also reported. The last time 100 or more cases were reported was January 15. 

The ECHD still recommends residents to fill out a vaccine request form. The form is used to determine who receives the vaccine in the area in accordance with the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization Plan.

Statewide

Vaccine distribution in Kansas, as well as the entire country, has been below expectations. President Joe Biden announced Tuesday the U.S. plans to vaccinate 200 million Americans – roughly 60% of the population – by the end of the summer. The President also announced an anticipated 16% boost in vaccine distribution for the next few weeks.

As doses roll out, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will give updates on vaccines distributed by county. According to the dashboard, 300 doses have been distributed to Ellis County. Due to population, Sedgwick County has received 5,850 doses and Johnson County has been given over 6,800. 

On Tuesday, Gov. Laura Kelly signed two executive orders with hopes of supporting both residents and businesses in the state. According to the Governor’s website, one of the executive orders (#21-01) “allows Kansas employers to continue to withhold income taxes based on the state of the employee’s primary work location, and not based on the state in which the employee is temporarily teleworking as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“This order helps ensure that tax season can go on without a hitch for Kansas businesses that have adjusted working schedules and employee work sites to keep people safe during the pandemic by allowing them to proceed with income tax withholdings as usual,” Governor Kelly said on her website.

The second executive order (#21-02) extends orders that were already in place but set to expire. Among other things, the document allows for certain tax payments to be delayed and prohibits specific evictions and foreclosures. 

“These Executive Orders allow Kansas to continue responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and assist our efforts to keep Kansans healthy, keep businesses open, and get our kids back to school as quickly as possible,” Governor Kelly said.

On Wednesday, the KDHE announced 3,262 new COVID cases since Monday. At the same time, there have been 96 new deaths and 151 new hospitalizations in the state.

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