Douglas County still waiting on vaccines for many health care workers in Phase 1A; new death brings county total to 35

photo by: Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health

Jan. 4 COVID-19 update from the health department

Douglas County has received about 4,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the rollout began, but many health care workers who qualified for Phase 1A of the county’s vaccination plan are still waiting for their shots, officials said Monday.

As of 1 p.m. Monday, Douglas County had received 4,120 doses since the start of the vaccine rollout last month. But in its COVID-19 update on Monday, LMH Health said more than 6,000 health care workers had been identified in Douglas County for Phase 1A of the vaccination plan. Phase 1A includes health care personnel who are likely to be exposed to COVID-19 and who cannot work from home.

“Right now, we don’t have much insight from the state related to the shortfall,” the update read.

Of the 4,120 doses the county had received as of Monday, 2,900 doses went to LMH Health, Heartland Community Health Center and the health department. George Diepenbrock, spokesperson for Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, said 2,337 of those 2,900 doses had already been administered among those three organizations to vaccinate health care workers, EMS first responders and public health workers.

There are several reasons why not all of the 2,900 doses have been administered. Five hundred of the vaccine doses just arrived at LMH Health Monday morning, and the health department is also still working to administer some vaccines to EMS workers who were unable to make their initial appointments last week.

The other 1,220 vaccines that make up the county’s total of 4,120 went to Haskell Indian Health Center, Diepenbrock said. Haskell Indian Health Center is a regional hub for the Indian Health Service, “so not all of those doses will solely go to Douglas County residents,” Diepenbrock said. He added that the health department does not have information on how many of those doses have been administered, but that the organization was scheduled to begin distributing its vaccine supply last weekend.

The 4,120 doses the county has received do not include vaccinations administered to long-term care facility staff and residents, Diepenbrock said. Those vaccines are being managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care Program.

Douglas County COVID-19 update

One more Douglas County resident has died from COVID-19, according to the health department’s update on Monday.

The new death, which brings the total to 35, was a man in the 75 to 84 age range who had been hospitalized at the time of death, Diepenbrock said.

Previously, Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health announced that 34 people — one resident between the ages of 45 and 54, nine residents between the ages of 65 and 74, eight residents between the ages of 75 and 84, and 16 residents age 85 or older — had died from COVID-19 or with the virus as a contributing factor in their deaths.

Douglas County reported 6,713 cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, an increase of 231 cases since Thursday.

In Douglas County, 5,819 out of the 6,713 cases are inactive or beyond the infectious period, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health, meaning 894 cases are active.

The county has averaged about 49 new cases per day over the last 14 days, according to a 14-day moving average graph updated weekdays by the health department. The current average of 49.21 new cases per day is down from a recent high of 77 cases per day in mid-November and up from a recent low of 17 cases per day in mid-October.

Douglas County has a 14-day COVID-19 incidence rate of 572.78 per 100,000 people.

Thirteen patients at Lawrence’s hospital had COVID-19 on Monday, four fewer than Thursday.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s online map noted that 50,270 Douglas County residents had been tested for the disease so far. The county’s testing rate per 1,000 people was 411.2.


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