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Drive-through vaccinations offered
County seeks to improve vaccination rate
Barton County conducted a drive-through COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Friday, Dec. 3. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

As of Friday morning, 47% of Barton County residents age 12 years and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The Barton County Health Department may have improved that percentage by offering a drive-through vaccination event at Brit Spaugh Park.

Health Department Director Karen Winkelman said 215 doses of vaccine were administered during the two-hour event:

• Moderna - 8 first doses, 9 second doses and 162 third doses for a total of 179

• Pfizer - 3 first doses, no second doses and 14 third doses for a total of 17

• Pfizer Pediatric - 6 first doses and 4 second doses for a total of 10

• J&J - 3 first doses and 6 second doses for a total of 9.

“The drive-through event was planned on short notice as the demand for COVID vaccine was noted to have increased in the past 1-2 weeks,” Winkelman said, adding she was “very pleased with the outcome of the event (and appreciated) the assistance/collaboration of our staff and of our community partners.” Those include Phil Hathcock, county landfill/facilities director; Kendal Francis, city administrator of Great Bend; Luke McCormick, Great Bend fire chief; Sheriff Brian Bellendir; Steve Billinger, lieutenant at the Barton County Sheriff’s Office; Dena Popp, 911 director; and John Stettinger, civil process server at the BCSO.

Winkelman said she is exploring options for an additional drive-through event next week, providing both COVID-19 vaccine and influenza vaccine. The details have not been finalized.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported that as of 9 a.m. Friday, there have been 474,479 COVID-19 cases statewide, resulting in 15,894 hospitalizations and 6,730 deaths. There were 4,712 new COVID-19 cases, 112 new hospitalizations and 25 new deaths statewide since last Wednesday, including one death in Barton County.

Area cases

Here are the total cases for area counties as of 9 a.m. Friday, with the change since Dec. 1:

• Barton 4,389 (+31)

• Ellsworth 1,512 (+13)

• Pawnee 1,576 (+6)

• Rice 1,616 (+28)

• Rush 565 (+3)

• Russell 1,350 (+22)

• Stafford 764 (+8)

Area deaths

Here are the death totals for area counties as of 9 a.m. Friday, with any change since Wednesday.

• Barton 68 (+1) 

• Ellsworth 31

• Pawnee 20

• Rice 16 

• Rush 16

• Russell 34

• Stafford 19


as of Friday

• Barton County has reported 149 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, an increase of three since Wednesday. The number of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions to date remained unchanged at 30. The 103 discharged patients reported to KDHE to date represents an increase of three.

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

• Stafford County’s admission numbers were unchanged since Nov. 24. To date, there have been 28 hospitalizations and 10 ICU admissions. The 19 discharged patients reported to the KDHE represented an increase of one from Wednesday.