Active COVID-19 infections in Cowley County outside the state prison as of Monday remained steady at 39 confirmed cases, while virus-related deaths remained at 94.

Total cases in the county since the pandemic began were 3,778, according to state health officials, 14 more than Friday. That number does include Winfield Correctional Facility.

Public Health Officer Thomas Langer said the case rates in the community remain stable with an average of three or four new cases found per day. Between Feb. 11 and Feb. 21, there were 219 tests done in the county, not including WCF, with 39 infections found.

With a relatively low and stabilizing infection rate, and vaccine protection being rolled out, Langer said he is encouraged. 

“Right now, I”m probably in the best mood about COVID as I have been in the past year,” he said.

Cases numbers at WCF had not been updated as of Monday afternoon. The Department of Corrections website showed 99 active inmate infections and 16  active staff infections as of Thursday. 

Langer said that outbreak there has slowed down, but he has seen cases in the community connected to WCF. 

 

Vaccine

The health department received last week’s allotment of vaccine on Monday, Langer said. The shipment was held up due the severe winter weather. This week’s allotment of 600 doses should come Wednesday.

“The (health department) is scheduled to provide a record number of doses this week as we ‘double up’ to make up for last week’s lull in vaccinations because of the weather-related delays,” Langer said.

The health department had vaccinated 1,550 people with at least one dose through Monday. Including hospitals, pharmacies and other providers, Langer estimates at least 6,000 people have been given at least one dose in the county.

A new daily “snap shot” reporting system is suppose to give the state a better handle on vaccination numbers at the local level, Langer added.

“Currently it is a literal mess as different shippers (federal, state and contractors) have sent vaccine out since late December, and the de-centralization of data gathering is now being seen,” he said.

“Even in our county I do not have a real accurate count of doses administered. I know that hospitals received early doses, and then the state doses began to ship through the (health department).

“Now the pharmacy program is sending out doses, and in between that we had the long-term care facilities doses through contracted providers.”

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