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COVID cases up slightly in Pawnee County
Health department urges caution

LARNED — For the second consecutive week, Pawnee County has reported two more cases of COVID-19, according to figures released by the county health department on Tuesday, April 20. 

Current case total in the county is 1,147 including six active cases. Community case total (excluding Larned State Hospital, individuals in long-term care and Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility) also saw a jump from last week at 613, an increase of four. Seven cases of the virus have been identified within the past 14 days and four cases in the last seven days.

The county death total from COVID-19 remains at 13, unchanged for more than a month. The county remains at Level Green on the COVID risk assessment matrix. Level Green represents no to minimal risk of spreading COVID-19.

“Although we remain at Level Green, we’re seeing a small increase in cases, which tells us this virus is not gone,” said Health Department Director Cheryl Hoberecht. “We still need to be vigilant. If you want to reduce your chances of getting COVID-19, call or message the health department and we will schedule you for a vaccine.”

Hoberecht also said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is prepared to send limited vials of Pfizer vaccine so those age 16-18 can be vaccinated.

“We will start a list and then arrange a day to do this for our younger community members,” she said. “Pfizer vaccine is supplied in five-dose vials so if we have five people committed to this we will order vaccine.”

Hoberecht added that individuals who have been fully vaccinated are still encouraged to follow precautions. “The schools are at the level in their plans that masks are optional, which means they can still be worn for self protection and the protection of others,” said Hoberecht. “In Pawnee County, if both parties are wearing a mask and there is a reported positive in one of the individuals then the person that is present during that contact to the positive case does not have to quarantine.”

To schedule an appointment for vaccine, contact the Pawnee County Health Department, 620-285-6963.