By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Most of Kansas continues to show a high rate of new COVID-19 cases
Reader questions answered
covid-19 Barton

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment released its latest COVID-19 statistics on Wednesday. As of 9 a.m., there were 4,164 new cases and 45 new deaths reported since Wednesday, Sept. 7, bringing the total number of deaths statewide since the start of the pandemic to 9,072. The increase in deaths was attributed to Office of Vital Statistics death data reconciliation and does not necessarily reflect an increase in recent deaths.

The weekly cumulative incidence rate, also known as the weekly new case rate, shows most of Kansas ranking “high,” meaning 100 or more cases per 100,000 people. This was true for all area counties with the exception of Rice, which showed a “substantial” rate of 50-99 cases per 100,000. Statewide, five counties: Cheyenne, Rawlins, Greeley, Edwards and Kiowa, had zero new cases for the period starting Sept. 3 and ending Sept. 9. The most recent five days are not included as data is expected to be incomplete.

Here are the new case totals for that period in area counties:

• Barton 42

• Ellsworth 10

• Pawnee 10

• Rice 5

• Rush 6

• Russell 8

• Stafford 10

Frequently asked: I have to be quarantined for 14 days and I don’t have enough leave at work to cover it. Is the state going to pay my wages since I have to be quarantined?

KDHE answer: If you are not working or working reduced hours due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was established to protect those who are unemployed due to no fault of their own. It is designed to be a short-term assistance program and may be able to help those whose employment has been adversely impacted by COVID-19. Contact the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) in your area with questions or to get more information on the KDOL website (

A reader asks: Can I get financial help to cover funeral expenses of a loved one who died from COVID-19?

Great Bend Tribune answers: We found this information at

• 21-021 Financial assistance available through FEMA for COVID-19 funeral-related expenses

If your family has incurred funeral expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

To access information and assistance call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline, 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585, Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to that service. It is important that FEMA is able to contact you, and you should be aware phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions: The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.

- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.

- There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

You are encouraged to keep and gather all funeral-related documentation. Types of information should include:

- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.

- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

- If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail or by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

Additional resources may be found by going online to

Great Bend Tribune readers may send questions to News Editor Susan Thacker by emailing