By KEN CARPENTER
Great Bend Post
An item that was not on the agenda took center stage at Monday's Barton County Commission meeting. Barton County Health Director Karen Winkelman attended the meeting and gave commissioners a report about the increase in COVID-19 cases within the county.
"Last week Monday, I would have reported that we had 32 positive cases," said Winkelman. "As of yesterday, we had 70. We increased 38 during the week."
Winkelman said the 38 new cases last week are well below what was seen during the height of the pandemic. She said 50 to 60 new positive cases were reported per day last November before the vaccine became available.
Almost 41 percent of residents in Barton County, who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, have been fully vaccinated. That number is close to the average in the state of Kansas.
Anyone 12 years of age or older can receive the Pfizer vaccine while the Moderna and J&J vaccines can be administered to anyone 18 years or older.
Winkelman said the Health Department is working with officials at Barton Community College to offer vaccinations to students there. She said they are looking to two days in the middle of August right after students return to campus following the summer break.