The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and additional primary dose for immunocompromised children following authorization from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KDHE has authorized the 2,000+ COVID-19 vaccine providers across Kansas to begin administering the booster shot and additional primary dose to eligible populations.
Children ages 12-15 are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster. The CDC authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster shot for children ages 12-15 to be administered five months after completing their Prizer primary series.
Medicalodges of Great Bend remained on the COVID-19 cluster list for another week. Every Wednesday, KDHE publishes locations that have had five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset in the last 14 days. The long-term care center in Great Bend has had 12 cases in the last 14 days. The last onset date was reported on Dec. 30.
Medicalodges Great Bend has been on the cluster list every week since Dec. 15.
Over the course of the pandemic, Kansas has had 549,721 COVID-19 cases, resulting in 17,214 hospitalizations and 7,059 deaths statewide as of 9 a.m. Wednesday. There were 15,322 new cases, 104 new hospitalizations and 15 new deaths reported since Monday.
There were no new deaths reported in area counties. The total death count for Ellsworth County was adjusted downward by one.
Here are the total cases for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, with the change since Monday, Jan 3:
• Barton 4,840 (+37)
• Ellsworth 1,639 (+20)
• Pawnee 1,693 (+13)
• Rice 1,888 (+42)
• Rush 619 (+7)
• Russell 1,528 (+24)
• Stafford 872 (+11)
Here are the death totals for area counties as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, with any change since Monday.
• Barton 71
• Ellsworth 30 (-1)
• Pawnee 21
• Rice 16
• Rush 16
• Russell 34
• Stafford 24
The Great Bend Tribune also reports on COVID-19-related hospitalizations in Barton, Pawnee and Stafford counties.
• As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, Barton County has reported 160 hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic, including 31 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions to date, and 106 discharged patients reported to KDHE. This reflects an increase of one hospitalization since Monday.
• Pawnee County has reported 71 hospital admissions, 15 ICU admissions and 48 discharged patients to date. These numbers were unchanged since Monday.
• Stafford County has reported 36 hospital admissions, 15 ICU admissions and 20 discharged patients to date. This was an increase of one in each of the three categories.
Counties are ranked from 1 to 105 by the KDHE. The lowest-risk county (McPherson) has the No. 1 ranking (based on the higher vaccination rate and average number of tests given per week per 100,000 people, and lower average number of cases per week per 100,000 people). In McPherson County, 59% of the population age 5 years and older is fully vaccinated. The highest-risk county (Bourbon) has the No. 105 ranking (lower vaccination rate and average tests; higher average cases). Only 38% of the population age 5 years and older is fully vaccinated.
With an overall rank of 103, Russell County is one of the most at-risk counties in the state; 44% of its population age 5 years and old is vaccinated (the same as Barton County); the seven-day average number of cases per 100,000 people is 69 (compared to 36 in Barton County) and the county averages 250 COVID-19 tests per 100,000 people per week (Barton averages 349).
Here are the overall ranks and vaccination rates for area counties:
• Barton 72 (44% of the population age 5 years and older is fully vaccinated)
• Ellsworth 17 (55% vaccinated)
• Pawnee 20 (54% vaccinated)
• Rice 86 (44% vaccinated)
• Rush 44 (51% vaccinated)
• Russell 103 (44% vaccinated)
• Stafford 32 (47% vaccinated)
Variants have been detected in all 105 Kansas counties. KDHE reports 0.6% of positive cases in January have been sequenced to determine if they are a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19. Of 14,927 cases sequenced to date, 10,674 were the Delta variant and 165 were the Omicron variant.
Barton County has sequenced 140 specimens and 123 have been variants of concern: 3 Alpha, 119 Delta and 1 Omicron.
The Omicron variant has not been detected in other area counties.
Pawnee County has sequenced 12 specimens and 9 were variants of concern: 1 Alpha and 8 Delta.
Stafford County has sequenced 28 specimens and all 28 were the Delta variant.
School vaccination rates
KDHE estimates the vaccination rates among Kansas school districts.
Great Bend USD 428 has a total enrollment of 2,867 and 386 (13.5%) of those ages 5-17 are vaccinated. There are 5 presumed student cases this week.
Central Plains USD 112 enrollment is 447 and 68 (15.2%) are vaccinated. There are 2 presumed student cases this week.
Ellinwood USD 355 enrollment is 531 and 69 (11.9%) are vaccinated. There are 2 presumed student cases this week.
Hoisington USD 431 enrollment is 709 and 59 (8.3%) are vaccinated. There are 0 presumed student cases this week.
Fort Larned USD 495 enrollment is 802 and 125 (15.6%) are vaccinated. There are 3 presumed student cases this week.
Pawnee Heights USD 496 enrollment is 135 and 10 (7.4%) are vaccinated. There are 0 presumed student cases this week.