According to the Geary County Health Department, the number of active COVID-19 infections in the community have gone down. Last week, there were 132 cases listed by the health department at press time. At this time, at last update, there were 122 cases of the virus still active in the community. Every weekday, recoveries and new cases have been announced by the health department.

Though cases of the virus have continued to crop up in the community even as infected people have recovered, people also continue to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations. As of Friday at noon, Geary County had reported a total of 1,707 community members had been vaccinated against the virus within the county. This includes vaccines offered by the Geary County Health Department, Geary Community Hospital and Konza Prairie Community Health Center, Brookdale of Junction City, Valley View Senior Life and the mass vaccination at the C.L. Hoover Opera House last Saturday. These individuals were part of the first and second phases of the vaccination process.

Of these people, 1,707 have received their first shot and 758 of them have also received their second dose of the vaccine.

As of this release, the county was still awaiting the arrival of more doses of the vaccine from the State of Kansas. Further vaccination sites will be added as doses of the vaccine arrive.

As of now, the county is still working on the second phase of vaccination, which includes people older than 65, school employees, and first responders such as firefighters and law enforcement officers.

Everyone is encouraged to sign up for their COVID-19 vaccines on the Geary County website at www.gearycounty.org or contact the health department by calling 785-762-5788 to be put on the list.

People will be contacted when their phase begins. The county asks for patience as officials wait on additional doses of vaccine to arrive.

Even as vaccines are distributed to community members, the virus remains a threat. People are asked to continue social distancing, wearing masks and practicing good hand hygiene, because it’s still possible for people to become infected.

In total, according to the health department’s unofficial death count, 23 people have died of the virus in the community since it arrived here in the spring of 2020.

Geary Community Hospital lists its COVID-19 statistics weekdays as well. GCH’s most recent update listed five people in the hospital with the virus, one of whom was in the intensive care unit and on a ventilator. The GCH testing site has conducted 7,636 COVID-19 tests since the pandemic began, 6,604 of which came back negative for the virus and 1,019 of which came back with positive results. As of GCH’s most recent update, 13 tests were still pending results out of the GCH site.

The Kansas Department of Health and the Environment also posts routine updates about the virus. The KDHE lists Geary County as having had 2,811 total cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in spring. The health department lists the county as having had 1,456 cases of the virus in that same timeframe. According to the health department, this discrepancy is because the health department does not have authority to investigate cases of the virus in every part of the county. The health department has said that the KDHE receives both Geary County and Fort Riley numbers while the health department only receives Geary County numbers. The health department has also said that sometimes the KDHE has recorded cases of the virus twice and then not reversed the duplicate cases.

This accounts for the difference of 1,355 in the two entities’ case counts.

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