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NPR and KMUW are thoroughly committed to monitoring COVID-19 activity and its potential impact on your lives. We are continually updating kmuw.org with the latest news.

Community Services Amid COVID-19

American Red Cross. Communities across the country count on the American Red Cross for help every day – and supporting those communities is at the heart of what we do. Our work never stops, even during this coronavirus crisis, and we remain focused on delivering our lifesaving mission each day. We are supplying blood products for patients in need of transfusions, including those who need surgery, cancer treatments or trauma victims. During this uncertain time, the Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help keep a stable blood supply throughout this pandemic. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus and the Red Cross needs the help of blood and platelet donors to ensure blood products are readily available for weeks to come. For a limited time, the Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies as an additional health service to our donors. The Red Cross hopes testing will provide critical insight into whether donors may have possibly been exposed to this coronavirus, as some COVID-19 carriers can be asymptomatic. It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control. To ensure the health of staff and donors, precautions include:

  • Checking temperatures of staff and donors before entering a drive to make sure they are healthy.
  • Providing hand sanitizer for use before the drive, as well as throughout the donation process.
  • Following social distancing between donors including entry, donation and refreshment areas.
  • Ensuring face masks or coverings are worn by both staff and donors.
  • Routinely disinfecting surfaces, equipment and donor-touched areas.
  • Wearing gloves, and changing gloves often.
  • Using sterile collection sets and an aseptic scrub for every donation.

Child Start and Child Care Aware of Kansas. Child Start and Child Care Aware of Kansas are here to help families who are searching for child care. Our Child Care Resource Center assists families in finding a licensed child care provider that fits their needs. Resource Specialists are available Monday-Friday from 8-5, by calling 1-877-678-2548. Families can also use our online referral tool – all you have to do is logon to the Child Care Aware of Kansas website at www.ks.childcareaware.org and click the “Search for Child Care button”. Every referral comes with helpful resources such as questions to ask when interviewing child care providers and a check list of things to consider when making your child care choice.

College Hill United Methodist Church, in partnership with the United Methodist Church Great Plains Conference and the Kansas Department of Health, is hosting free walk-in testing for COVID-19 from 10 to 3 on Thursday, February 11, at 2930 East First Street in Wichita. More information.

Consumer Credit Counseling Services has online videos and remote credit counseling for Kansans struggling financially due to COVID-19. Find more at https://kscccs.org/.

Hunter Health is providing COVID vaccines, with no out-of-pocket cost, to American Indian/Alaska Native elders, age 55 and up, on a first come-first served basis at the Central Clinic at 527 North Grove. Info at hunterhealth.org.

Kansas Aging and Disability Resource Call Center. This statewide resource is available to help professionals and their clients or caregivers who have questions or need information. Call Center Specialists can provide information on long term care options, community resource, information about public benefits, choosing a nursing home, supportive services, transportation and a myriad of other programs and services. Our knowledgeable call center specialists are available by phone and you will get a live person to talk to every time. The call center specialists can provide you the information you need or connect you with a local contact to assist you further. This call center specializes in Aging and Disability resources as well as community services and supports. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm at 855-200-2372.

The Kansas Eye Bank and Cornea Research Center provides eye donation services during the pandemic for those who share the goal of restoration and preservation of sight. Learn more about services or make a financial contribution at kseyebank.org.

The Medical Society of Sedgwick County thanks citizens and local businesses for the sacrifices they have made to help combat COVID-19. These efforts saved lives. The Medical Society encourages everyone to continue practicing social distancing, to wash hands frequently and to wear a mask when in public. Website is mssconline.org.

Rotary Clubs of Kansas and Oklahoma
Fighting disease is one of Rotary’s main causes, so members already support efforts to promote proper hand washing techniques, teach people other ways to stay healthy, and supply training and vital medical equipment to health care providers. Now Rotary is ramping up efforts to help communities navigate the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: vaccines. Rotary will tap into its decades of experience in bringing polio to the brink of eradication, to highlight the power and efficacy of vaccines.  https://www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/vaccine/schedule/

TOP Early Learning Centers have partnered with the Fidelity Bank Foundation to provide scholarships for twelve weeks of full-day educational preschool and childcare for children ages one to five. More information is available by calling 316-522-TOPS.

Wichita Family Crisis Center. Domestic violence increases at times of elevated stress. Staying safe at home isn’t always possible.The Wichita Family Crisis Center offers help for victims of domestic abuse. Information is at wichitafamilycrisiscenter.org.

Wichita Public Library offers a wide range of resources, including e-books and e-audiobooks. Wichita Public Library locations are open for curbside and drive thru service. The Library is following guidance from the City, County, State and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention regarding best safety practices for customers and staff. Cardholders can browse the entire collection online at catalog.wichitalibrary.org, place holds and pick them up at their desired Library branch location.