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Gov. Kelly updates COVID-19 progress, adding vaccination sites at pharmacies

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly said COVID-19 cases are trending down in recent days, making Kansas one of three states in the country to see a decline.

Also, after ranking last in the country last week for per-capita distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, the most recent CDC data shows Kansas ranking 17th best.

Kelly said, “Our team continues to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine roll-out to ensure that everyone is vaccination and that no vaccinations go to waste.”

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman also is hearing positive notes from both large and small hospitals. He said staffing shortages and overflow issues are easing up.

“There’s ICU beds available, the majority of ventilators are available and very encouraging the staff is coming back from isolation because of illness or quarantine and it’s just a good sense of calm,” he said.

Moving forward, Kelly announced the state has partnered with a national pharmacy program to increase available vaccination sites, as more people become eligible. They expect to firm up locations and who will be eligible to go over the next week.

“In addition to the 278-ish vaccination sites right now, we have a lot more providers signing up and being trained on ‘WebIZ’ so as to be able to respond,” said Norman. “So it’ll be just a question of timing and how much comes in.”

WebIZ is the Kansas Immunization Information System.

Kelly said they are preparing for phase two and, “We are working to ensure that we have an adequate number of providers to care for our citizens.”

Norman added it is possible the federal government may send doses for phase two before phase one is finished and in that case -- the state may store them for a brief time, but it still ultimately means a faster, more orderly distribution once phase two is ready to go.

For more information go to KansasVaccine.gov

Kelly also spoke on her Fiscal Year 2022 Kansas Budget to protect the fiscal foundation of the state and kickstart its economic recovery. You can find that story: HERE

She also said she did not speak with the Kansas Department of Labor about unemployment claims being resolved this week but she did say the number of unemployment claims in the backlog is at around 750. Which is a drastic decrease from 25,000 back in June.

She appointed Deputy Secretary of the Kansas Department of Labor, Brett Flachsbarth, as the Acting Secretary of Labor. She said Flachsbarth will serve until he announces the permanent Secretary.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly and KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman are hopeful as the vaccination distribution continues in phase one with nearly 94,000 Kansans receiving it.

After ranking near the bottom of the country in vaccine distribution last week, the most recent data reflects a large jump with Kansas now ranking 17th in the CDC’s rankings.

She said the reporting woes they dealt with are now updated and showing that positive jump.

Kelly reported that COVID-19 cases are trending down in recent days, making it one of three states in the country to see a decline in cases.

Norman says there is a good sense of calm coming from both large and small hospitals giving vaccinations as well.

Kelly announced the state has partnered with a national pharmacy program to increase available vaccination sites across the state and will announce more information about who is eligible and where the sites will be over the next week.

“Our team continues to monitor the effectiveness of the vaccine rollout to ensure that everyone is vaccination and that no vaccinations go to waste,” she said. “As we prepare to enter phase two, we are working to ensure that we have an adequate number of providers to care for our citizens.”

More information on vaccine sites can be found at KansasVaccine.gov

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly will update Kansans regarding COVID-19 on Wednesday.

Governor Laura Kelly says she will hold a news conference on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 4 p.m., to update residents on COVID-19 information.

If you cannot view our video player, click here or watch along on our Facebook Live.

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