COVID-19

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Editor's Note: On Nov. 13, Emporia State University announced that it will provide free tests to students that want one before traveling. 

WICHITA, Kansas — In just two weeks, thousands of college students in Kansas will board planes and hop into cars daydreaming of sweet potatoes and turkey legs.

Most of those students won’t return to campus for the rest of the semester. To cut the risk of spreading the coronavirus, the majority of universities in Kansas will have students finish the fall semester online.

Fernando Salazar / Wichita Journalism Collaborative

In response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the area, Sedgwick County is tightening restrictions on bars, restaurants and businesses that draw large crowds.

Chris, flickr Creative Commons

WICHITA — The Wichita Board of Education canceled its plan to let middle and high school students back into the classroom on Thursday as coronavirus cases surge in Sedgwick County.

The vote was 5-2 with board members Ben Blankley and Mike Rodee voting against the motion.

"It’s a disservice to continue in a full remote model for secondary learners even considering our community transmission," Blankley said at Monday night's meeting.

Board member Stan Reeser said he wanted to reopen schools, but that the coronavirus numbers forced him to vote otherwise.

Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — Kansas on Monday reported another record seven-day spike in coronavirus cases, pushing the state past 100,000 for the pandemic as officials wrestled with getting more residents to wear masks.

wichita.gov

The pandemic has arrived at Wichita City Hall.

Mayor Brandon Whipple, the City Council, City Manager Robert Layton and other city employees are in quarantine for two weeks after council member Brandon Johnson tested positive for COVID-19.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

MISSION, Kan. — Kansas added a record-setting 5,418 new coronavirus cases Friday as hospitals warned that staffing was being seriously strained and the state’s top public health official said many local officials "haven’t done anything" to check the surge.

iStock illustration

On Monday, Sedgwick County’s COVID-19 dashboard reached a worrying milestone: For the first time since the pandemic began, all 208 of the county’s ICU beds were full, if only momentarily.

This year, nurses in southeast Kansas are taking a NASCAR-style approach in the race against the flu.

Imagine a pit crew, said Lori Rexwinkle, head of nursing at a community health center that serves 10 counties. Except instead of speed-swapping tires, this team vaccinates passengers. Got a van full of kids? Just pull it on up.

“We had several different nurses going out to the vehicle at the same time,” Rexwinkle said. “Parents appreciated that.”

Stephan Bisaha / Kansas News Service

Kansas community colleges should be having a good year.

No crowded, germy dorms. Most of their students don’t need to travel. Plus, community colleges are cheaper and normally thrive in a bad economy.

Instead, they actually lost students. Enrollment fell more than 14% this fall. That’s causing the experts who track the industry to wonder about past assumptions.

For the first time during the pandemic, Dr. Drew Miller was unable to send a severely ill COVID patient to the intensive care unit.

Miller and other staff at the Kearny County Hospital, in southwestern Kansas, had done what they could last weekend, putting the patient on a maximum oxygen flow. But the closest ICU in the area was one county over — St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City — and it was full. The nearest open ICU bed was in Kansas City, seven hours away.

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