By JONATHAN ZWEYGARDT
Health officials in Kansas say more than 30 percent of adults, or nearly 932,000 people in the state, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In Ellis County, that number is nearing 10,000.
At this week’s county commission meeting, Health Services Director Jason Kennedy told the commission in his weekly COVID-19 update, “for the first time in what feels like forever, for myself and really everybody else, we truly just have good news to report for Ellis County.”
At the start of the week, the seven-day average for Ellis County was at or below five cases per day for 45 straight days.
As the number of cases has declined, so has the number of people getting vaccinated.
Kennedy told the commission the county health department has administered 7,000 first doses of the vaccine through the community partnerships. They estimate another 3,700 first doses have been given out through other entities within the community.
He said the nearly 10,000 first doses ranks Ellis County among the top of Kansas counties in the per-capita vaccination rate.
He added there are plenty of options if you haven’t.
“We do encourage people, if they want to be vaccinated, there’s multiple opportunities for that,” Kennedy said.
He also said there will be a drive-through event at HaysMed on Saturday where 900 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available.
Kenney also added his department is working with FHSU to set up availability for students.
"We’ve got some good things moving with the vaccine,” Kennedy said. “We have plenty of availability now. We just need to encourage people to come in and get it.”
In other business Monday, the commission:
• Approved a motion moving forward with engineering work on a bridge northeast of Catharine.
• Approved the destruction of previous election ballots and appointed a Democratic and Republican representative to oversee the process.
• Approved annual township reports and gave staff input on a roof design for the Law Enforcement Center.