Did you already get the COVID-19 vaccine? Here's what Kansas officials say you can do

Titus Wu
Topeka Capital-Journal
Registered nurse Penny Brown, right, gives a COVID-19 vaccine to Jason Kirk at the Brownsville Community Center in Pensacola, Fla., on Monday, March 8, 2021.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 778 new COVID-19 cases, 56 new hospitalizations and 35 new deaths between Monday and Wednesday.

Overall, numbers across the board have been dipping and continue to lower.

In another sign of the pandemic potentially subsiding, the number of COVID-19 clusters has shrunk to just four from the typically much longer list of sites where outbreaks have occurred.

The two biggest clusters are in Topeka. Shawnee County Jail tops the list, with 15 cases within two weeks. Topeka Correctional Facility has 7 cases, and the facility remains one of the state's biggest clusters since late January.

The other clusters are a long-term care facility in Wamego and a business in Hesston, with 8 and 6 cases, respectively.

The decrease in clusters can be partly attributed to ongoing administering of COVID-19 vaccines targeted at these hotspots. As of Wednesday, 491,431 Kansans have been vaccinated with at least one dose, with at least 740,850 total doses administered, according to KDHE.  

But the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention still ranks the state 46th as of Wednesday in doses administered per capita, at 25,801 doses per 100,000 people.

Post-vaccine guidance

As the vaccine rollout continues, Kansas released guidance Wednesday on what people who have been vaccinated should or should not do.

“These changes are an important step in moving forward,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary, said in a news release. “This will allow grandparents to socialize with families, friends and neighbors to gather.”

Two weeks after one receives his or her final dose of the vaccine, he or she can gather with other vaccinated people in private homes in small groups without the need of masks or social distancing.

Vaccinated Kansans can also gather with unvaccinated people if those not vaccinated are from a single household or at low risk of getting a severe disease.

But in public, KDHE recommends the status quo of wearing face coverings, social distancing 6 feet, avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces and washing hands often. 

This comes after the CDC also released its own similar guidance for vaccinated Americans this week. One guideline not mentioned in KDHE's is that fully vaccinated people don’t need to quarantine or take a COVID-19 test if exposed, unless symptomatic. 

Yet to be announced are any guidelines on traveling for vaccinated people.