caseupdate

COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Douglas County, according to public health officials. 

Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health reported 421 active cases Wednesday, a decrease from the 771 cases reported one month ago. 

About 73,000 residents of Douglas County have had at least one vaccination and nearly 66,000 are fully vaccinated as of Oct. 13, said Daniel Smith, a representative from the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, during Monday’s public health meeting. 

About 5,600 people have had a booster shot for the vaccine out of the 20,000 eligible, Smith said. About 40% of those booster vaccines have taken place at the drive-thru clinic at LMH Health in Lawrence, he said. 

“The drive-thru has netted about a little over 2,400 vaccinations,” Smith said. “It seems to be a popular thing and a preferred option.” 

A big plan is to pivot to vaccinations for 5- to 11-year-olds. This plan is set to start in November with middle schools and community-based clinics, Smith said. 

A CDC advisory committee is expected to meet Nov. 2 and 3 to discuss whether to approve vaccinations for children. 

Eudora has expressed interest in starting school-based vaccinations, and conversations with Lecompton and Baldwin City are still in early stages, Smith said. 

Officials also addressed the problem of misinformation in the county about vaccines. Stephen Fawcett, a senior advisor for the KU Center for Community Health and Development, said misinformation has been a driving force of opposition to masks and vaccines. 

“I think the science and the data that we are using to do this work, and that our team is doing, is substantiated and legitimate,” Fawcett said. 

As of Wednesday, there were five inpatients in the hospital, said Rebecca Smith, a spokeswoman for LMH Health.

In updated guidelines, visitors and patients must use a self-check station when entering the hospital, she said. They also must wear masks and have their temperature taken upon entrance. 

Non-COVID patients can have two visitors during visiting hours, and expectant mothers can now have two visitors during labor, she said.

Drive-thru clinics for Pfizer booster doses are available at LMH Health by making an appointment online at http://ldchealth.org/covidvaccine. Booster doses are also available through primary care providers and pharmacies.

LMH Health will share details about boosters for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson when they are available, she said.

Reach us at eudoratimes@gmail.com.

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