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Sedgwick County health officer gives his recommendation regarding masks and vaccinations

Coronavirus in Kansas

Dr. Garold Minns (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns has released his guidance for when people should wear masks to prevent getting and/or spreading the coronavirus.

His number one recommendation is to get vaccinated if you are able. If you are not vaccinated, Minns says to follow the CDC recommendation to wear a mask in indoor public places and in some outdoor settings. He also suggests that vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public places in areas of substantial transmission, like Sedgwick County.

This is the complete statement from Sedgwick County:

After insightful discussions during the Board of County Commission staff meeting on Tuesday, August 3, regarding the latest local information on COVID-19, Sedgwick County Local Health Officer, Dr. Garold Minns, weighed the information he heard from the County Commission, consulted with local physicians, and continues acute awareness on the rising COVID-19 numbers. Gathering all these considerations, Dr. Minns is making a strong recommendation to Sedgwick County for the following:

  • Vaccinations for anyone eligible including those aged 12 and older as soon as possible.
  • Follow the CDC recommendation regarding the wearing of masks or face coverings. These recommendations include anyone not fully vaccinated and aged 2 or older, wear a mask in indoor public spaces. Additionally, in areas of substantial or high transmission (including Sedgwick County) consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings or for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
  • For individuals that are fully vaccinated, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wearing a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission (including Sedgwick County).

“To reiterate my remarks to the Board of Health and the Board of County Commission staff meeting on Tuesday, I am concerned about the rising number of cases and the increase in the positive case rate. Increasing infections have negative health implications for adults and children and there are a limited number of resources available to help in decreasing the spread of SARS Co-V2.” said Dr. Minns. “The COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective tool we have to stop the spread of the virus.”

COVID-19 vaccinations are available at no-cost through the Sedgwick County Health Department or a number of health care providers and pharmacies.

Sedgwick County provides Pfizer vaccine (for people aged 12 and older) or one-dose Johnson and Johnson (for people 18 and older) at walk-in clinics (including the community vaccine clinic, 223 S. Main) across the County. Find a location near you at www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/vaccine/clinic-locations/.

To find a vaccine clinic near you, visit www.vaccines.gov/search/ and enter your ZIP Code. You can also check with your doctor’s office or community health center to find out if the vaccine is offered there.

Anyone experiencing symptoms or aware of an exposure should be tested regardless of vaccination status. Sedgwick County offers no-cost testing at the Sunflower Shelter located inside Sedgwick County Park Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or view the testing locator at www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/sampling-information.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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