Of the 125 active COVID-19 cases in Labette County, 39% of those are kindergarten through 12th grade school-aged children, said Lisa Hoppock, administrator of the Labette County Health Department. 

“That could change by the minute though,” Hoppock told the Sun on Monday morning via email.

The Health Department publishes new data every Thursday. With last Thursday falling on the Thanksgiving holiday, officials reported data from Tuesday; Labette County recorded 125 active cases last week.  

The next update will be this Thursday. 

“We only give a new count on Thursdays. We are a small staff and with the overwhelming amount of cases, our time is better spent and needed to be working on the actual cases plus all the other things that the Health Department does (WIC, QUEST lab draws, physicals, immunizations),” Hoppock said. “Just to name a few.” 

At the beginning of the year, the Health Department attempted to report daily totals, but the staff isn’t large enough to dedicate one employee just for data, Hoppock said. 

“At one time we were keeping counts on vaccinated versus unvaccinated,” Hoppock said. “It was not feasible with time constraints as every single case had to be looked up in WebIZ. However, the No. 1 factor for stopping that data count is that it’s not accurate. If someone receives a vaccine at the (Veterans Administration) or another state, that information isn’t entered into WebIZ. Since we are a border county, and we have a VA in the area, that count was not going to be accurate. We do not have access to VA records or other state immunization registries.” 

Hoppock added the Health Department is not aware of any hospitalized cases at the moment. 

As of Nov. 23, Labette County has recorded a total of 62 deaths from COVID-19. A total of 64 people have been hospitalized since the pandemic began in 2020. The Health Department reported last week that 3,655 people have recovered from the virus. The county has recorded a total of 3,842 cases since the start of the pandemic. With the 125 active cases recorded last week, that number was down 116 cases since the Health Department reported 241 active cases Nov. 18. 

On Monday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) did not report any COVID-19 outbreaks in the county.

Across Kansas, the state has recorded a total of 465,290 cases since the pandemic started in March 2020. There have been 15,649 recorded hospitalizations and 6,686 deaths statewide.

With the new COVID-19 variant, omicron, popping up around the globe, Hoppock said any new variant is a concern.

“Especially one that has been labeled as a variant of concern. However, it’s too soon to know the effects of this variant and vaccination,” Hoppock said.

This variant originated in South Africa, according to the Associated Press.

The United States has yet to detect this variant, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president, said he wouldn’t be surprised if it was already here, the AP reported Sunday.

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