The Delta variant of COVID-19 has crept up, from six percent to 10 percent, in the United States recently, according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Kansas Health System.
Case numbers in the nation have increased a little as well, according to Dr. Hawkinson.
Great Britain looks like it will delay their reopening because of the Delta variant, Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer at KU Health System, said.
“We know the Delta variant is in the United States,” he said.
“The good thing about that is vaccinated people are still protected from that,” Dr. Hawkinson said.
Dr. Hawkinson said they are receiving data from the UK, which is seeing that although the Delta variant is spreading there, they aren’t seeing the increase in deaths among vaccinated people.
Also, Novavax vaccine has announced its trial results, and is 90 percent effective in preventing against deaths and serious illness, according to Dr. Hawkinson.
This vaccine is easier to store, and it isn’t an mRNA nor a virus vector, he said. It is a piece of the spike protein and it appears there are fewer side effects than other vaccines, he said.
Dr. Hawkinson said the Novavax vaccine gives an injection of the spike protein itself, while the other vaccines stimulate the body to create spike proteins.
There are other protein-based vaccines, such as one for hepatitis B, and this is not a new method, according to Dr. Hawkinson.
It’s one more vaccine that can be used, especially by those who have concerns about the other vaccines, he said.
Also at the KU Health System morning media update Monday, Chelsey Smith, outreach coordinator of the Community Blood Center, said there is still a blood shortage, although they had a little increase in type O blood donations last week. They have a three-day supply of blood on hand now, with a seven-day supply needed, she said.
They always see lower donations in the summer months because people are busy or on vacation, she said. There is also a spike in the need for blood in the summertime, she said, creating a blood shortage every summer.
Also, they’re still dealing with the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.
She said about 25,000 regular donors have not been back since the start of the pandemic. She said the Community Blood Center has safety protocols in place, including masks, distancing and cleaning.
There aren’t quite as many blood drives as in the past, but they are ramping back up with the mobile blood drives, she said. To see an earlier story about upcoming mobile blood drives, visit http://www.wyandottedaily.com/community-blood-center-declares-blood-emergency-3/.
Free walk-in vaccinations available
The former Kmart store at 7836 State Ave. will be open for free walk-in vaccinations for everyone 12 and older from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15. The vaccines are through the Unified Government Health Department.
People may also schedule vaccinations at WycoVaccines.org. Residents may request rides to the vaccination clinic through a form on the same website.
The Unified Government Health Department vaccination hours changed recently. To see the schedule and more information about vaccinations, visit WycoVaccines.org or https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept.
Those who receive COVID-19 vaccinations are asked to consider bringing an ID to make the process go faster.
The Health Department is doing more mobile COVID-19 vaccinations, and people may request vaccines to be given at different sites in the community by going to WycoVaccines.org and clicking on “mobile vaccine request.” People also may request a ride to vaccination sites on the same page.
Those who wish to schedule an appointment may use the Health Department’s self-scheduling tool at WycoVaccines.org and click on a blue button that says, “Click here to schedule an appointment online.” The page is available in Spanish by clicking at the top of the page. Walk-in appointments also are welcome.
Those who don’t have an internet connection may call 3-1-1 or 913-573-5311 for assistance in scheduling their vaccination appointment time and date.
To see more information about Health Department vaccinations and next week’s schedule, visit WycoVaccines.org.
Other sites available for vaccinations
Vaccinations at KU Health System are open to the public. Current patients may use MyChart to make an appointment. Others may call 913-588-1227 or visit kansashealthsystem.com/vaccine to make an appointment to get vaccinated. KU Health System currently is vaccinating residents of Kansas and Missouri who are 12 or older, by appointment only. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian throughout the appointment.
There are also pharmacies giving free COVID-19 vaccinations in Wyandotte County by appointment, when available. These include Price Chopper and Hen House pharmacies, which are now also accepting walk-in vaccinations or appointments, and are starting vaccinations for age 12 and up at those pharmacies that are giving Pfizer vaccine (see https://www.ballsfoodspharmacy.com/).
CVS has announced walk-in appointments for COVID-19 vaccine at some of its stores. Those interested in getting a vaccination at a CVS pharmacy are asked to visit a CVS website in order to make sure there is vaccine available. The website is at www.cvs.com/. Walgreens and Walmart also were listed on www.vaccines.gov as giving vaccinations.
Other pharmacies and sites giving vaccines are listed at www.vaccines.gov. The website also tells whether vaccines are in stock at the locations.
Case numbers reported; hospitalizations up
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control, reported the COVID-19 case numbers at the University of Kansas Health System were much higher Monday morning. Eleven active COVID-19 patients were being treated at the hospital, an increase of six. Two patients were in the intensive care unit, a decrease from three. Both patients were on ventilators, an increase of one. Five other patients were still in the hospital, in the recovery phase, an increase of one. There were 16 total COVID-19 patients, an increase of seven.
Wyandotte County reported an increase of 26 COVID-19 cases on Monday, June 14, since Friday, for a cumulative 18,933 cases, according to the Unified Government Health Department’s COVID-19 webpage. There was a cumulative total of 299 deaths reported, no change.
The Mid-America Regional Council’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 175,578 cumulative COVID-19 cases on Monday in the Kansas City region. The daily average of new hospitalizations was 43.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 316,014 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Kansas on Monday, June 14, an increase of 245 cases since Friday. There were a total of 5,125 cumulative deaths reported statewide, an increase of 19.
On Monday, June 14, the KDHE reported 59,450 cumulative cases in Johnson County, an increase of 39 cases since Friday. Leavenworth County had 7,290 cumulative cases, an increase of four since Friday. Sedgwick County had 57,633 cases, an increase of 83 cases since Friday, according to KDHE.
The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 dashboard on Monday night reported 33,474,692 cumulative COVID-19 cases in the United States, with 599,945 total deaths reported nationwide. There were 4,575 new cases nationwide and 105 new deaths nationwide.
States with high numbers of new cases were Colorado, 473; New Jersey, 456; Missouri, 404; Texas, 399; and New York, 363.
Countries with high numbers of new cases were India, 70,421; Brazil, 37,948; Colombia, 28,519; Russia, 14,561; and U.S., 4,575, according to Johns Hopkins information.
Free testing available
Free COVID-19 testing will be offered from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, at the former Kmart store, 7836 State Ave., Kansas City, Kansas, at the Health Department’s central location.
Wyandotte County residents may contact the Health Department at wycohelp.org to sign up for a test to be delivered to their home.
For more details about free COVID-19 testing offered by the UG Health Department, visit https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19, https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept or call 3-1-1.
The Health Department’s general contact page is at https://www.wycokck.org/Health/Contact.aspx. The department’s Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/UGHealthDept.
Testing sites are at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19. There are more test sites listed on this page.
Saliva testing is now offered at the UG Health Department. For more information, visit https://alpha.wycokck.org/files/assets/public/health/documents/covid/02042021-ugphd-saliva-testing-available.pdf.
The KU doctors’ news conference is at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/148726693874019.
The University of Kansas Health System COVID-19 update page is at https://www.facebook.com/kuhospital/videos/330310795391910.
A vaccine report for the state of Kansas is at
The KDHE’s COVID-19 webpage is at https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/.
The KC Region COVID-19 Hub dashboard is at https://marc2.org/covidhub/.
The Wyandotte County page on the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 website is at https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/20209.html.
The Johns Hopkins Data in Motion, a presentation on critical COVID-19 data in the past 24 hours, is at https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/covid-19-daily-video.