Coronavirus

Tens of thousands of uninsured Kansans qualify for enough government subsidies to get free health insurance.

That was the case even before the passage of Congress' latest stimulus package in March, but now those benefits are available to many more people.

For some, the potential savings for 2021 and 2022 health plans on the Affordable Care Act marketplace are dramatic.

State officials told Kansas schools they could fill the air with chemical mist to fight COVID-19 in classrooms.

The suggested gadgets coat doorknobs, tables and other surfaces with disinfectant.

But when the Kansas News Service showed the state guidance on electrostatic sprayers and foggers to scientists, one called it “surprising and disappointing.” Another classified it as “a huge error.”

Christopher Sessums / flickr Creative Commons

Wichita public school enrollment fell by more than 2,600 students this year, a 5.6% drop that has officials scrambling to reconnect with families and get kids back.

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As a young girl growing up in Lebanon, Mona Nemer had to convince her teachers to allow her to study science.

Today, Dr. Mona Nemer — who has an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Wichita State University — is the chief science advisor for Canada, providing advice and insight to Canada’s prime minister and his cabinet.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW/File photo

Starting Monday, walk-ins will be allowed at Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic inside the former central library in downtown Wichita.

The county has required appointments since the clinic opened in late December, but is shifting to the new strategy to get more people vaccinated against the disease. The online scheduling portal on the county’s website will still be available for appointments.

Breaking The Stigma: How The Pandemic Has Helped People Open Up About Mental Health Struggles

Apr 19, 2021
Kansas News Service

The psychological toll of the coronavirus pandemic is undeniable. At the height of lockdowns last spring, one in three Americans displayed signs of clinical depression or anxiety, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

There’s no way to predict or quantify the long-term impact of this collective suffering, but experts say people are now discussing their mental health and wellbeing more freely than before the pandemic, providing a chance to break down some of the stigma that has long surrounded mental illness.

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Riley Sipes was a junior at Wichita’s North High School last spring when the COVID-19 shutdown closed schools and canceled prom and other activities.

She had already bought her dress — a smokey blue spaghetti-strap number that shimmers in the light. The phrase, “All dressed up and nowhere to go” had never seemed so fitting.

“It’s definitely been weird,” Sipes said. “I’m still disappointed that I missed out on so many of the traditions that North High has in place.”

El Alvi / Flickr Creative Commons

Kansas says it will stop distributing the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine as federal health officials investigate reports of rare complications in six people who received the vaccine.

Ansel Armstrong had just found a psychologist when COVID-19 turned the world upside down, forcing in-person care to go remote.

So video sessions replaced a 40-minute drive between Lawrence and Topeka.

“I love how much it frees up my schedule,” Armstrong said. It eased the process in other ways, too. “It’s like, you’re at home. I have my cat on my lap. I think it was a less stressful experience.”

Madeline Deabler / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

After a year of navigating the disruptions fostered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the spring of 2021 promises to be the start of a cautious reopening.

But mental health experts say the wounds of the past year could remain with us for quite some time.

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