TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly held a news conference Wednesday to give an update on the coronavirus in Kansas and to share information about COVID-19 vaccinations.
Earlier Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) updated its data to show it has linked 106 more deaths to COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 4,303.
The KDHE also said another 15,485 Kansans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose. It brings the total to 248,977, or 8.5% of the state’s population. More than 82,000 Kansans have received their second dose.
Kelly said that next week, Kansas expects to get 82,650 doses, slightly more than it received last week. She also that she spoke with the Biden COVID-19 team yesterday and was told Kansas would be receiving close to 90,000 doses next week.
“We will continue to urge them to both increase the number of vaccines we receive and to get a stimulus signed and delivered so we can get the economic support we need to continue on our road to recovery,” she said.
Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the KDHE, spoke about the Fort Hays State University student who tested positive for the UK variant of the coronavirus. The KDHE sent a strike team to Hays to investigate and test residents.
They collected 196 samples, and only one came back as positive for the coronavirus. That one sample is still being tested to see if it is the UK variant.
Norman said it is important for Kansans not to relax their guard. They should continue to social distance, wear masks and wash their hands.
A reporter asked why Kansas is still showing so poorly compared to other states’ vaccination levels on the CDC’s website.
Kelly said the doses are getting to counties, but that the KDHE relies on those counties to report back when they have administered the doses. She said there is a delay in some of the reporting.
Another reporter asked if teachers are in Phase 2 of the vaccination rollout. Phase 2 is what the state is currently conducting.
Kelly said teachers are in Phase 2, but it is up to each county to decide whether to open vaccinations to all the people in Phase 2 or whether to provide vaccines to certain segments of Phase 2.
The map below shows how many coronavirus-positive cases each county has reported. It also shows how many doses each county was given this week.