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Drive-through vaccinations are available Friday
First U.S. omicron case identified; none in Kansas
Coronavirus breaking news

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. All preparations of the vaccine are available for individuals ages 5 years and older.

The vaccine booster dose is available for all adults aged 18 and over.

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

To date, 47% of the youth and adult population age 12 years and older in Barton County has been fully vaccinated. Barton ranks 84th out of 105 Kansas counties for vaccinations. The county’s overall rank is 95 out of 105, meaning 90% of all Kansas counties are less at-risk for COVID-19. This ranking combines the vaccination rate, the seven-day average number of daily cases per 100,000 people and the seven-day average number of daily COVID-19 tests per 100,000 people.

Pawnee County has a 55% vaccination rate (rank 32nd) and an overall rank of 26.

Stafford County has a 50% vaccination rate (rank 63rd) and an overall rank of 65.

All area counties rank higher (meaning they are less at-risk) than Barton, except for Russell County, which has a 47% vaccination rate (the same as Barton but ranked 82nd) and an overall rank of 103.

Stafford USD 349 still on cluster list

First U.S. omicron case identified; none in Kansas

Stafford USD 349 was on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s COVID-19 cluster list for the fourth consecutive week. No other area locations were listed.

Every Wednesday, KDHE publishes locations that have had five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset dates in the last 14 days. Stafford USD 349 has had six in that time frame, with the last onset date being Nov. 24.

Nationally, the United States reported its first known case with the omicron variant of the virus. The White House announced Wednesday that a person in California who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 but had not received a booster was the first case identified with the variant. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the person was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Monday.

Fauci said the person was experiencing “mild symptoms.”

The KDHE reports no cases with the omicron have been identified in Kansas. The most common variant identified in Kansas is the delta variant. In Barton County, 129 specimens have been sequenced and 112 variants detected. Of those, three were the beta variant and 109 were the delta variant.

Great Bend USD 428

The Great Bend USD 428 District Education Center (DEC) released its COVID-19 report for the week on Wednesday. There are 12 active positive cases and 216 cases have been resolved this semester.

The number of active cases, followed by the number of resolved cases, are listed by building:

• GBHS 2 - 59

• GBMS 2 - 33

• Eisenhower 1 - 38

• Little Panthers Preschool 0 - 3

• Jefferson 0 - 19

• Lincoln 4 - 21

• Park 1 - 14

• Riley 0 - 21

• DEC 1 - 1

• Helping Hands Preschool 0 - 2

• Special Services 0 - 3

• Central Kitchen 0 - 2

State update

As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Kansas has had 469,767 COVID-19 cases over the course of the pandemic, resulting in 15,782 hospitalizations and 6,705 statewide deaths. There were 4,477 new cases, 133 new hospitalizations and 19 new deaths reported since Monday, Nov. 29. This includes one new death in Barton County and one in Russell County.

Area cases

Here are the total cases for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, with the change since Nov. 29:

• Barton 4,358 (+23)

• Ellsworth 1,499 (+25)

• Pawnee 1,570 (+2)

• Rice 1,588 (+16)

• Rush 562 (+6)

• Russell 1,328 (+9)

• Stafford 756 (+19)

Area deaths

Here are the death totals for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, with any change since the last area deaths, reported on Nov. 24.

• Barton 67 (+1) 

• Ellsworth 31

• Pawnee 20

• Rice 16 

• Rush 16

• Russell 34 (+1) 

• Stafford 19

Hospitalizations as of Wednesday

• Barton County has reported 146 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, including 30 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and 100 discharged patients reported to KDHE to date. These numbers were unchanged from last Monday. The median age of Barton County patients admitted so far this month is 55.

• Pawnee County has reported 69 hospital admissions, 15 ICU admissions at 47 discharged patients to date. These numbers were unchanged from Monday. 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.