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County offers COVID-19 vaccination drive-through event

The Barton County Health Department will conduct a drive-through vaccination clinic for COVID-19 prime and booster doses from 9-11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 3, at Brit Spaugh Park. Barton County Public Information Officer Donna Zimmerman reports the county health department has all preparations of the COVID-19 vaccine available for individuals ages 5 years and older.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports the vaccine booster dose is available for all adults aged 18 and over.

To expedite their vaccinations, eligible persons may visit to download the complete vaccine consent form, found under the COVID-19 tab.

Omicron variant hasn’t reached Kansas or US

No confirmed cases of the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus – which causes COVID-19 – have been detected so far in Kansas or the United States, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported Monday. KDHE continues to monitor for this new variant. It is still unknown how transmissible or contagious it is.

“It is unclear how quickly it will spread, but it has been found in 17 countries already and we should assume that it is only a matter of time before it will be found in the United State,” according to a statement issued by the KDHE.

“With over 64% of the eligible population fully vaccinated, Kansas is more prepared for Omicron than previous variants. Experts continue to believe that the COVID-19 vaccine will continue to protect those who are vaccinated against severe disease and death. ... Boosters increase the strength of your antibody response, so even if the virus mutates, a boost makes it more likely that your antibodies can prevent you from getting sick or seriously ill, even with the new variant. If you are six months past your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two months past your J&J vaccine, get boosted now.”

The KDHE statement adds: “As we continue to learn more about the Omicron variant, taking steps to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus remains the same. Kansans should receive the COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, wear a mask in public indoor settings, wash their hands frequently, physically distance from others as much as possible, stay home if they feel sick, and get tested if they have been exposed to COVID-19 disease or have symptoms.”

The latest statistics 

The KDHE on Monday released its first update of COVID-19 statistics since before the Thanksgiving holiday. As of 9 a.m. Monday, Kansas has had 465,290 COVID-19 cases to date, resulting in 15,649 hospitalizations and 6,686 statewide deaths. There were 4,127 new cases, 67 new hospitalizations and 13 new deaths reported since Wednesday, Nov. 24. None of the new deaths were in area counties.

Barton County ranked 83rd out of 105 Kansas counties Monday for the percentage of the youth and adult population (age 12+ years) that is fully vaccinated.

Area cases

Here are the total cases for area counties as of 9 a.m. Monday, with the change since Nov. 24:

• Barton 4,335 (+62)

• Ellsworth 1,474 (+14)

• Pawnee 1,568 (+2)

• Rice 1,572 (+17)

• Rush 556 (+1)

• Russell 1,319 (+22)

• Stafford 737 (+14)

Hospitalizations as of Monday

• Barton County has reported 146 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, an increase of one since Nov. 24. The number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions remained unchanged at 30, as did the number of discharged patients reported to KDHE, 100. The median age of Barton County patients admitted so far this month is 55.

• Pawnee County has reported 69 hospital admissions, an increase of one, but the total number of ICU admissions was unchanged at 15. The 47 discharged patients reported to date have not changed. The median age of Pawnee County patients admitted so far this month is 69.

• Stafford County’s numbers were unchanged since Nov. 24. To date, there have been 28 hospitalizations, 10 ICU admissions and 18 discharged patients reported to the KDHE. The median age of Stafford County patients admitted so far this month is 33.