Category Archives: COVID-19

CHC/SEK to host Pfizer vaccine clinic on April 25

People aged 16 and older can now receive the Pfizer vaccine with parental consent through Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas.
CHC/SEK will host a Pfizer vaccine clinic from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, at the 924 N Broadway. The clinic will be by appointment only. This is a two-dose vaccine that is given 21 days apart.
Individuals can request a vaccine appointment on the CHC/SEK website chcsek.org. Click the COVID Vaccine Request button. After selecting the “first dose” button, there is an option to select the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. CHC/SEK representatives will contact the recipients to schedule a date for the vaccine.
For those without web access, the health center has a toll-free number, 866-888-8650 and a second number for Spanish-speakers 620-240-8940 to make vaccination appointments.

As with all COVID-19 vaccines, there is no out-of-pocket costs to vaccine recipients.

Bills Signed to Aid Economic Recovery

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Bipartisan Legislation to Aid Kansas’s Economic Recovery

~Legislation prioritizes strategic growth, business recruitment, and innovation as the state recovers from COVID-19~

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly signed four bipartisan bills into law to drive economic growth and strengthen Kansas’ economy. Senate Bills 65, 66, 90, and 124 are part of Governor Kelly’s Growth Agenda, a multifaceted legislative approach to improving Kansas’ ability to attract major businesses and strengthen our economy in accordance with the Framework for Growth strategic plan.

“As our state recovers from COVID-19, we have the opportunity to rebuild a stronger, healthier, more resilient workforce and economy in Kansas,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “These bipartisan bills will help us achieve this goal by improving our ability to recruit cutting-edge businesses, revitalize our rural communities, and address housing shortages statewide. I thank the Legislature and Department of Commerce for their work on this important legislation.”

Each bill strengthens a specific area of Kansas economic development:

SB 65 – New improvements and updates to the High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP). Companies will no longer need to go through the Kansas Industrial Training/Retraining (KIT/KIR) programs to qualify for HPIP, leaving vital training funds to be used in more strategic ways. In addition, the bill allows for up to 50% of tax credits earned through HPIP to be transferred, helping to ensure that companies can fully utilize earned credits.

SB 66 – An extension of the Angel Investor Tax Credit program in Kansas for the next five years. Important updates have been made to the program, including changes to credit investment amounts, increasing budget appropriations and more. Strengthening the Angels program will allow our state to more effectively attract start-ups that will help create the technology of the future. In addition, an amendment to the bill provides for an increase in tax credits to be used to make homes accessible for people with disabilities.

SB 90 – This bill significantly expands the types of projects allowed in Kansas Rural Housing Incentive Districts (RHID) and enables the renovation into residential use (including vertical construction) of buildings and structures more than 25 years old on Kansas main streets and downtown districts. Any city with a population of less than 60,000 will be eligible for this program, regardless of county population. This program is essential in addressing housing shortages in rural Kansas in particular.

SB 124 – The STAR Bonds program in Kansas has been continued with major updates. This legislation establishes third-party feasibility studies to be engaged by Commerce, community engagement summary requirements, and other transparency measures. Updates also include measures to increase use of the program in rural areas. Finally, the program can now be used as a tool to recruit headquarters and major business facilities with the potential to attract sizable out-of-state visitation.

“Governor Kelly is known for her unwavering support of education, but measures like these prove she is also the Economic Development Governor,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “The Governor and our partners in the Legislature are responding to the needs of businesses and communities throughout our state, making rapid growth attainable in communities of all sizes. The pillars of our Framework for Growth, including forward-thinking policy, emphasis on talent and innovation and effective leveraging of community assets all are represented in this legislation. These new laws will be truly instrumental drivers of Kansas’ economic growth.”

This announcement comes during Governor Kelly’s “Back to School, Back to Work” tour through Kansas. April 12 through April 16 is “Economic Development Week,” with Governor Kelly and Lt. Governor/Secretary Toland visiting businesses and workforce centers across the state.

To learn more about the Kansas Framework for Growth, Kansas’ economic development North Star, click here.

Additional bills Governor Kelly signed:

HB 2178: Vacating certain blocks in the original town plat set aside for a college and a park in the city of Americus and vesting fee simple title in the city.

HB 2238: Eliminating the dollar limitation for acceptance of gifts by donors to school districts or cities, or both, for library purposes.

HB 2295: Exempting municipal motor grader vehicle operators from Kansas uniform commercial drivers’ license act requirements.

COVID 19 Brazilian Variant Identified in Sedgwick County

 

TOPEKA – A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emerging Variant known as the Brazilian or P.1 variant has been identified in an individual in Sedgwick County. A case investigation is being conducted to determine how the person became infected with this particular variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as, if others may have been exposed. No further details will be released concerning the patient, including demographics.

The variant was determined through the whole genome sequencing conducted through the laboratories at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

The P.1 variant was originally identified in four travelers from Brazil, who were tested during routine screening at Haneda airport outside Tokyo, Japan. This variant was detected in the U.S. at the end of January 2021 and has been found in 31 states and territories in the U.S. At this point, there is still much to learn about the transmission characteristics and potential severity of the P.1 variant. Although this strain can reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines, vaccines still provide strong protection against severe illness and death.

“We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions. This includes wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose and face and has multiple layers of fabric or layering thinner masks with an additional cloth face mask to improve the fit,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Kansans should also follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to.”

Two other variants of concern have been identified in Kansas, including the UK variant, B.1.1.7, and the South African variant, B.1.351. Variant information in Kansas can be found on the COVID-19 dashboard under the “Variants” tab.

“In addition to following these healthy behaviors, this finding also shows the importance of getting tested for COVID-19,” Adrienne Byrne, Sedgwick County Health Director, adds.

Testing is available and free for all Kansans. To find a location near you, visit: www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/280/COVID-19-Testing.

Kansas Pauses Johnson & Johnson Administration

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) announces that Kansas will pause administration of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine following an announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this morning. There are reports of six recipients in the United States who developed a rare disorder involving blood clots within about two weeks of vaccination. No known cases have been reported in Kansas to date.

“Just as important as getting vaccines into arms — is making sure those vaccines are safe,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “While this appears to have affected six people in the nearly seven million doses administered, out of an abundance of caution, Kansas will suspend Johnson and Johnson until the CDC and FDA clear it for use again. In the meantime, we anticipate our shipments of Pfizer and Moderna to continue and we will build on the one-third of Kansans who have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

The federal government will further study links between the vaccine and the rare blood clotting disorder. An emergency meeting of the CDC’s advisory committee has been scheduled for Wednesday.

KDHE asks providers with Johnson & Johnson vaccine to pause administration of the vaccine immediately and to place the supply into storage while material is reviewed. After KDHE has reviewed the findings from the federal government, further guidance will be given to providers on next steps.

Those who have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should contact their health care provider if they have any symptoms and report any illness to the VAERS Reporting System, https://vaers.hhs.gov.

The week of April 19th, Kansas is anticipated to receive the following doses:

  • 39,780 Pfizer Prime
  • 38,610 Pfizer Boost
  • 29,000 Moderna Prime
  • 27,800 Moderna Boost

Joint CDC and FDA Statement

As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on Wednesday to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.

CDC and FDA will provide additional information and answer questions later today at a media briefing. A recording of that media call will be available on the FDA’s YouTube channel.

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KDHE amends travel quarantine list

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has amended its travel quarantine list to add several states and countries – Connecticut and Pennsylvania and the countries of Andorra, Bermuda, Curacao, Poland, Serbia and Uruguay. Two countries, Czechia and Montenegro are removed.

A comprehensive list of those individuals needing to quarantine includes visitors and Kansans who have:

  • Traveled on or after April 8 to Connecticut or Pennsylvania
  • Traveled on or after April 8 to Andorra, Bermuda, Curacao, Poland, Serbia or Uruguay
  • Traveled on or after March 26 to Delaware, Michigan or Rhode Island
  • Traveled on or after March 26 to Hungary or Jordan
  • Traveled on or after March 12 to New Jersey or New York
  • Traveled on or after March 12 to State of Palestine or Estonia
  • Traveled on or after Feb. 26 to San Marino
  • Traveled between Feb. 26 – April 8 to Czechia or Montenegro.
  • Attendance at any out-of-state mass gatherings of 500 or more where individuals do not socially distance (6 feet) and wear a mask.
  • Been on a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15, 2020.

The travel quarantine period is seven days with a negative test result or 10 days without testing, with release from quarantine on Day 8 and Day 11, respectively. Further information on quarantine periods can be found on KDHE’s website.

For those traveling internationally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring testing within three days of flights into the U.S. For further information on this and other requirements, visit their website.

For those who are fully vaccinated (meaning it has been greater than two weeks since they completed their vaccinations) they are not required to quarantine regarding travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥2 weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2- dose series, or ≥2 weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Are within 6 months following receipt of the last dose in the series
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

Additionally, people with previous COVID-19 disease are not required to quarantine following travel if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have evidence of a previous infection supported by a positive PCR or antigen test
  • Are within 6 months following infection. If an investigation was done documenting the date that symptoms resolved, or the date isolation measures were discontinued for asymptomatic patients, then the 6-month period can start from that end date. If those dates are not available, then the period will start from the date of the positive laboratory test. A serology or antibody test may not be substituted for a laboratory report of a viral diagnostic test.
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the travel

Persons who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance for travel.

The travel quarantine list is determined using a formula to evaluate new cases over a two-week period, then adjusted for population size to provide a case rate per 100,000 population. This provides a number that can then be compared to the rate in Kansas. Locations with significantly higher rates — approximately 3x higher — are added to the list.

For more information on COVID-19, please visit the KDHE website at www.kdhe.ks.gov/coronavirus.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine available at all CHC/SEK clinics by appointment  

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine is now available and at all Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas locations.
Currently, the vaccine is recommended for people age 18 and older. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine offers two unique advantages. It is a single dose rather than the currently required two doses for Pfizer and Moderna. The single dose requires less of a time commitment and inconvenience than a two-dose regimen, and also eliminates the logistical difficulties of scheduling second doses.
To schedule a Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, go to the website chcsek.org, click the COVID Vaccination Form button and complete the form. After selecting the “first dose” button, there is an option to select Johnson & Johnson or Moderna. CHC/SEK representatives will contact the recipients to schedule a date for the vaccine.
For those without web access, the health center has a toll-free number, 866-888-8650 and a second number for Spanish-speakers 620-240-8940 to make vaccination appointments.
Various CHC/SEK Johnson & Johnson pop-up clinics will also be posted on the CHC/SEK Facebook page.

As with all COVID-19 vaccines, there is no out-of-pocket costs to vaccine recipients.

CHC/SEK to host Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine clinic  

 

FORT SCOTT – The Johnson and Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all adults on Wednesday at the CHC/SEK Fort Scott clinic.
The vaccine will be available by appointment from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Currently, the federally allocated vaccine available at CHC/SEK is recommended for people age 18 and older. There is no cost to vaccine recipients.
CHC/SEK created https://chcsek.org/getmyshot where people can reserve their vaccine by filling out a contact form online. Using the web-based tool allows CHC/SEK to plan better for vaccine distribution. However, realizing not everyone has web access, the health center created a toll-free number, 866-888-8650 and a second number for Spanish-speakers 620-240-8940.
To learn more about the vaccine:

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families.

At Federal Emergency Management Agency, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance, and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April.

Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.

 

 

Find Funeral Assistance information in your language:

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alert - warningFraud Alert: We have received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent any such notifications and we do not contact people prior to them registering for assistance.

Learn More

alert - warningFEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through our dedicated call center. More information will be available on this page soon.

Who is Eligible?


To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

How to Apply


COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time

 

If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

How Funds are Received


If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

Additional Resources


Last updated April 2, 2021

South African Variant identified in Finney County

 

TOPEKA – A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Emerging Variant known as the South African variant has been identified in Kansas. An individual Finney County was found to have the B.1.351 variant. A case investigation is being conducted to determine how the person became infected with this particular variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, as well as if others may have been exposed. No further details are being released concerning the patient, including demographics.

The variant was determined through the whole genome sequencing conducted through the laboratories at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).

The B.1.351 variant was originally identified in South Africa in December and has been found in 31 states and territories in the U.S. At this point, it is not known to cause more severe disease and it is not clear whether it spreads more readily than other strains. Although this strain can reduce the effectiveness of some vaccines, vaccines still provide strong protection against severe illness and death.

“We continue to encourage people to take the appropriate precautions. This includes wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose and face and has multiple layers of fabric or layering thinner masks with an additional cloth face mask to improve the fit,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said. “Kansans should also follow isolation and quarantine recommendations, practice physical distancing, good hygiene, staying home if ill and getting the vaccine if you are able to.”

Another variant of concern, B.1.1.7, also known as the UK variant, has previously been identified in Kansas. There are currently 76 cases identified in 14 counties.  This variant was first reported in the U.S. at the end of December 2020. Evidence from the UK indicates that this variant spreads much more quickly through the population and, given that fact, may rapidly increase the number of hospitalizations and deaths. More studies are needed to confirm this finding.

Testing is available and free for all Kansans. To find a location near you, visit: www.gogettested.com/kansas.

CHC/SEK staff receive White House Commemorative Easter Eggs  

Submitted photos. The White House Easter Eggs.

President Joseph Biden and First Lady Jill Biden sent Easter greetings to the staff of Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas this week in the form of Easter eggs. 

“Your organization’s efforts are a testament to the hard work that needs to occur in order for our country to reopen safely,” read the letter from the White House.  “The health and wellbeing of Americans remain an utmost priority to the President and First Lady, and your efforts and dedication are truly appreciated. On behalf of the President and First Lady, we wish you and your family a safe and Happy Easter!”

The commemorative wooden eggs were originally produced for the traditional White House Egg Roll held on the White House lawn each year. However, with the ongoing pandemic the event was canceled this year. Instead, the White House decided to send the eggs in recognition of community health workers.

“We are honored to be recognized by the President and First Lady for our efforts to make our communities safer and healthier,” CHC/SEK President and CEO Krista Postai said.  

In March, the Biden Administration created the Community Health Center Vaccine Program and chose CHC/SEK among 250 Community Health Centers serving vulnerable populations in the country’s most underserved communities to receive COVID-19 vaccine directly from the government. 

 “With the Biden administration’s support, CHC/SEK has been able to distribute more than 22,022 vaccines to help us get closer to ending this pandemic, Postai said.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Help

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Find My Vaccine

We’ve moved to VaccineFinder 

 

  • Find nearby COVID-19 vaccine providers
  •  Identify who has vaccines on hand via daily updates
  •  View contact information

Many vaccine providers in Kansas have been added to the tool and more will be added as they become available. Click the ‘Find Vaccines‘ button to access VaccineFinder in English or  haz clic para español.

Am I eligible to receive a vaccine?

Kansas is currently in Phase 5. Learn more about  Vaccine Prioritization while federal supply is low. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and no insurance is required. Vaccine providers are permitted to charge an administration fee, but cannot deny a vaccine based on inability to pay.

<!– Vaccine Finder Widget !–>

How do I get my vaccine?

If you are eligible and you see a location near you on VaccineFinder, please contact the vaccine provider to confirm the following:

  • Location-specific eligibility. Not all providers are vaccinating all priority groups.
  • Vaccine availability. Are first doses available?
  • Location & Hours
  • Follow the provider’s instructions to schedule an appointment or confirm walk-in availability. Please do not go to a vaccine provider without an appointment, unless the provider has explicitly invited walk-ins.

Some providers have the ability to schedule appointments online.

What if there isn’t a provider listed in my area?

Vaccine is being delivered to all 105 Kansas counties, but not all providers may be listed on VaccineFinder at this time. If you do not see an active location in your area — and you are included in the current Phase — ask your local health department how to access the vaccine. See the weekly vaccine allocations for each county on the Vaccine Dashboard.

FAQs

Should I keep taking COVID-19 precautions after I am vaccinated?
YES, the vaccine’s effects on transmission rate are still unknown. Please continue to wear a mask, maintain physical distance, stay home if you are sick and wash or sanitize your hands regularly. Find more FAQs.

  1. Phase 5
  2. Phases 3 & 4
  3. Phase 2
  4. Phase I

Phase 5 includes the following:

  • All Kansans aged 16+
  • Unvaccinated Kansans from previous phases
Woman getting vaccinated