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Long-term care centers top cluster list
Schools revise quarantine rules
vaccine update 12-9

The state updated its COVID-19 statistics this week and announced that a weekly vaccine update will be published on its website every Wednesday by 5 p.m. in English and Spanish. Meanwhile, Great Bend USD 428 revised its quarantine rules.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment ( reports there have been 179,803 COVID-19 cases statewide this year, resulting in 5,654 hospitalizations and 1,941 deaths as of 9 a.m. Wednesday. There were 5,778 new cases, 85 new deaths and 145 new hospitalizations reported since Monday, Dec. 7.

KDHE shows 1,859 total cases for Barton County and 834 for Pawnee County.

The Pawnee County Health Department on Monday reported the total “community cases,” excluding Larned State Hospital, Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility and patients in long-term care, was 377. There have been 77 cases identified in the last 14 days and 41 in the last seven days; 48 cases are active.

Cluster report

KDHE released its weekly COVID-19 cluster report on Wednesday, showing the location of places with five or more COVID-19 cases with symptom onset in the last 14 days. Area clusters were at Larned State Hospital, five cases; and long-term care facilities Diversicare of Larned, six cases, Homestead of Russell, seven cases, Leisure Homestead of St. John, 11 cases, and Locust Grove Village in La Crosse, 17 cases.

Long-term care facilities have reported more clusters during the pandemic than any other category, with 478 clusters accounting for 8,523 cases, 723 hospitalizations and 873 deaths to date.

KDHE also shows Barton County has now had 60 COVID-19 hospitalizations, resulting in 13 intensive care unit admissions and seven patients placed on mechanical ventilation. Forty-four patients have been discharged. The number of discharged patients only includes cases with available discharge information reported to KDHE.

The number of Barton County hospitalized cases by age group: 0-9 years, two; 25-34 years, two; 45-54 years, six; 55-64 years, 16; 65-74 years, 15; 75-84 years, 10; 85+ years, nine. Four patients were Hispanic or Latino, 51 were not Hispanic or Latino, and the ethnicity of five patients was unknown or missing.

Great Bend USD 428

Great Bend USD 428 reports that on Wednesday, a staff member at Helping Hands Preschool tested positive. There were no school contacts that would result in additional quarantines.

USD 428 noted that the Barton County Health Department, working in cooperation with the KDHE, will shorten quarantine recommendations from 14 days to 10 days (with no symptoms) moving forward. While there is still potential to develop symptoms in days 11-14, the risk is reduced. This change is effective as of Dec. 7 and is not retroactive. Meaning, there will be no change in the duration of quarantine for orders issued before December 7.

The procedure for returning to school after 10 days is that students will be temperature checked at the door, like all students. Upon arrival, students returning from quarantine will then report to the school nurse on days 11-14 for additional screening.

Vaccine news

This week’s Kansas COVID-19 vaccine update was released ahead of Thursday’s scheduled review by the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee.

It notes that Kansas is expected to receive nearly 24,000 doses in the first shipment of the vaccine, which will come from Pfizer. The shipment is expected to be received in mid-December. Additional vaccine is expected the following week, with upwards of 150,000 doses expected by the end of the month. 

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandated by the state of Kansas. The vaccine itself is free but providers may assess an administration fee. However, no one may be turned away for inability to pay that administration fee.

Read this week’s report online at

The Spanish version is accessible atÚltimas-Noticias-Sobre-COVID-19-12-9-20

vaccine update 12-9-Spanish