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Dr. Norman: Kansas to move to next vaccination phase in 4 weeks or less – KMBC Kansas City

Kansas could finish vaccinating seniors, meatpacking employees and other essential workers and move on to the next phase of coronavirus vaccinations in the next month, according to the state’s top health official.Dr. Lee Norman, the head of the state health department, said in a webcast Tuesday with University of Kansas Health officials that he anticipated the state would begin the third phase of vaccinations in four weeks or “a little bit less.” The next phase includes people aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at severe risk if they are infected with COVID-19, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes, as well as workers in critical industries such as information technology and government.He said some rural communities already have finished vaccinating people in the current phase, which is the state’s largest and includes about 1 million people, or about one-third of the state’s 2.9 million residents.“They therefore are on pause as we call it for receiving additional vaccine allocation so that we can reallocate to the other counties that are still in phase 2 and moving in an orderly manner through phase 2,” Norman said. “As a state, it is a good idea to not have some counties move to phase three, four, five while there are other counties still in phase 2.”The second phase includes those over the age of 65, critical workers including firefighters, law enforcement officers, meatpacking employees, grocery store workers, teachers and child care workers, as well as prisoners. Teachers have been a priority, and Norman said they are vaccinated “for the most part,” with the exception of “a few second doses that need to go into people yet this month.”Meanwhile, middle and high school students in the largest school district in Kansas will be able to return in-person five days a week after spring break as more staff members are vaccinated and coronavirus numbers improve. The Board of Education in the Wichita district, which has about 47,000 students, voted 6-0 Monday to make the change. It will take effect March 29, although the district will continue to offer a virtual learning option. Elementary students already had been in-person five days a week. But older students are attending hybrid classes – at home part of the time and in-person the rest of the time. School data on COVID-19 cases and quarantines have been improving. As of Friday, the district reported 307 employees were in active quarantines, down from 622 as of Jan. 8. The district has administered 4,590 first doses of a vaccine to school staff as of Sunday.The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Kansas could finish vaccinating seniors, meatpacking employees and other essential workers and move on to the next phase of coronavirus vaccinations in the next month, according to the state’s top health official.

Dr. Lee Norman, the head of the state health department, said in a webcast Tuesday with University of Kansas Health officials that he anticipated the state would begin the third phase of vaccinations in four weeks or “a little bit less.” The next phase includes people aged 16 to 64 with medical conditions that put them at severe risk if they are infected with COVID-19, including cancer and Type 2 diabetes, as well as workers in critical industries such as information technology and government.

He said some rural communities already have finished vaccinating people in the current phase, which is the state’s largest and includes about 1 million people, or about one-third of the state’s 2.9 million residents.

“They therefore are on pause as we call it for receiving additional vaccine allocation so that we can reallocate to the other counties that are still in phase 2 and moving in an orderly manner through phase 2,” Norman said. “As a state, it is a good idea to not have some counties move to phase three, four, five while there are other counties still in phase 2.”

The second phase includes those over the age of 65, critical workers including firefighters, law enforcement officers, meatpacking employees, grocery store workers, teachers and child care workers, as well as prisoners.

Teachers have been a priority, and Norman said they are vaccinated “for the most part,” with the exception of “a few second doses that need to go into people yet this month.”

Meanwhile, middle and high school students in the largest school district in Kansas will be able to return in-person five days a week after spring break as more staff members are vaccinated and coronavirus numbers improve.

The Board of Education in the Wichita district, which has about 47,000 students, voted 6-0 Monday to make the change. It will take effect March 29, although the district will continue to offer a virtual learning option.

Elementary students already had been in-person five days a week. But older students are attending hybrid classes – at home part of the time and in-person the rest of the time.

School data on COVID-19 cases and quarantines have been improving. As of Friday, the district reported 307 employees were in active quarantines, down from 622 as of Jan. 8. The district has administered 4,590 first doses of a vaccine to school staff as of Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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