By Jessie Wagoner
Many who cancelled holiday celebrations last year on COVID-19 concerns are planning to have them this year as cases of COVID-19 continue to decline, but an area care home and public school systems still are coping with clusters of the virus.
There 362 are fewer cases of COVID-19 during the same 18-week period this year than last year, according to Shalei Shea, director of the McPherson County Health Department said.
McPherson Health and Rehab has been identified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) as the newest COVID cluster with nine active cases.
KDHE also reports that 18 McPherson Public School students have tested positive for COVID-19. Inman has four students who are positive, Smoky Valley has 25 students, Canton-Galva has four and Moundridge has one positive student.
The McPherson County Health Department reports 123 active cases of COVID-19 with five hospitalizations.
In order to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends taking the following precautions:
- Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to get fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated also helps protect others around you, including those not yet eligible for vaccination, such as young children.
- Get tested. People infected with COVID-19 may not have symptoms, but they can still spread the virus. Protect loved ones by getting tested for COVID-19 before spending the holidays with friends and family.
- Wear a mask. If you are not fully vaccinated, it is recommended that you wear a well-fitting mask over your nose and mouth in public indoor settings. In communities with substantial to high transmission rates. Wearing a mask may protect people with weak immune systems or at risk of severe disease during gatherings.
- Take travel precautions. It is recommended to delay travel until you are fully vaccinated. For information about domestic and international travel guidance for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, visit the CDC’s Travel page.
Vaccines, including boosters, are readily available at the McPherson County Health Department as well as the primary care physician offices. To schedule a vaccine appointment, call the health department or your primary care provider.