Shawnee County Health Department briefing for Jan. 14

Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Shawnee County Health Department held a virtual media conference on, Thursday, Jan. 14 at 1:30 p.m.

The Stormont COVID-19 Scorecard showed that as of Jan. 14, 2021 1,377 patients had been hospitalized since March, 15, 2020.

Stormont Vail total vaccinations to date have been 7,635.

Derik Flerlage, Shawnee County Health Department Infectious Disease Division Manager for the Shawnee County Health Department, said the county is at an all time high, while Shawnee County is at “uncontrolled.”

Week of January 14, 2021, Shawnee County Health Department

“With the increase, we know the deaths will follow,” Flerlage said.

Flerlage said the increased numbers have made it difficult, if not impossible, to do the contact tracing that is necessary to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.

“A large factor of the spread is individuals who have no symptoms,” Flerlage said. He encouraged people to go get tested, and reminded residents there was no cost.

We saw the highest number of cases ever diagnosed in a week (1129), this was a continued exponential growth from the previous week.

Shawnee County Health Department

Dr. Robert Kenagy, President & CEO Stormont Vail Health, said the hospital currently has 56 cases admitted into the hospital.

“I want to emphasize our immunization effort, Kenagy said. “We are very encouraged by the interest in the vaccine and know this is ultimately our way out of the pandemic.”

Steve Anderson, CEO University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, was concerned about the surge they expected from the holidays.

“We are prepared for the surge, but we hope that will not happen,” Anderson said.

Anderson noted that the hospital had seen very few side effects.

Dr. Cooley, Shawnee County Interim Health Officer, said he could not answer the question whether college students would move from phase 2 to phase 5 because of congregant living circumstances.

“We are still in Phase 1 and have 10,000+ Vaccines to date in the county,” Cooley said. “They have started preparing the survey for Phase 2 so people can sign up once that is available in the next couple of days. Phase 2 will include those who are 65+ and essential workers, about 65,000 will be vaccinated.”

The meeting included the following Shawnee County officials:

Derik Flerlage, Shawnee County Health Department Infectious Disease Division Manager, Dr. Robert Kenagy, President & CEO Stormont Vail Health, Steve Anderson, CEO University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, Dr. Cooley, Shawnee County Interim Health Officer and Mayor Michelle De La Isla, City of Topeka.

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