Dear Mitchell County Residents,
At the end of last week, the Mitchell County Hospital received the first round of COVID-19 vaccine and began the process of administering to healthcare workers in Mitchell County. This was a very exciting step forward in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community and protect our healthcare workers. Based upon information received from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), the health department is expected to receive COVID-19 vaccine this week, which will be aimed at vaccinating EMS, health department staff, and healthcare workers, per the KDHE COVID-19 vaccination plan. This is another crucial step forward for our community.
With the beginning of COVID-19 vaccine administration occurring in our county, we have received many questions in regards to when the vaccine will be available to the general public. At this time, KDHE has prioritized health care personnel, long-term care facilities, EMS, and public health workers as the first group to receive the vaccine. In late winter, essential workers will be the next group to be offered COVID-19 vaccine, including first responders, critical infrastructure workers, education, and individuals at high risk for adverse health outcomes. Next, all other adults are anticipated to be offered vaccine in the spring, and children during the summer. Please keep in mind, all information provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is subject to change based upon current circumstances. Furthermore, the Mitchell County Health Department will notify the public on multiple media platforms when vaccine is available.
While the beginning of COVID-19 vaccination provides a much-needed glimmer of hope, vaccine availability continues to remain limited. It is critical we all continue to do our part in preventing the spread of infection, especially with the upcoming holidays. Please wear a mask, self-monitor for symptoms, wash your hands often, disinfect highly used surfaces frequently, limit travel and gatherings, and so on. The risk of spread remains high during this time, so we are highly encouraging everyone to please continue to protect our vulnerable populations and health care resources. As a reminder, modified quarantines are an option if both the positive individual and the close contact are wearing a mask at the time of exposure.
Although previously mentioned, we cannot stress enough the importance of washing your hands, social distancing at least 6 feet or more, wear a mask, cover coughs and sneezes, monitor your health daily, and please stay home when feeling ill. If you feel you need to seek medical attention, please do so by calling your physician. Reminder, please do not arrive at the clinic or hospital prior to calling ahead. We also cannot thank everyone enough for your continued patience and vigilance, especially during the holiday season. Finally, a big thank-you to our health care workers continuing to make the patients of Mitchell County a priority every day!
Cortney Murrow, Administrator
Mitchell County Health Department