Health Department to move to Phases 2, 3 next week

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

As with the rest of the state, Leavenworth County will be transitioning into Phases 3 and 4 of Kansas' COVID-19 vaccination plan next week.

Gov. Laura Kelly announced the state will move into the next two phases March 22. The transition will make vaccines available for people who are between the ages of 16 and 64 with preexisting medical conditions that place them at risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Vaccine eligibility also will be expanded to additional people who work in what is considered critical infrastructure.

Medical conditions that make people eligible for the vaccine in the new phases include cancer, Down syndrome, diabetes, pregnancy, asthma, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, neurological conditions and certain heart conditions, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Vaccine eligibility also is being expanding to critical workers who cannot work remotely including agricultural and food workers, people who perform in-person activities indoors, utility workers, social service and government workers, logistics workers, water and wastewater workers, information technology and communication workers, and shelter, housing and finance worker.

During Phase 2 of the vaccination plan, Leavenworth County has used an online interest form to create a waiting list.

County spokeswoman Stephanie Sloop said the Health Department will be transitioning away from appointment-based clinics and moving to larger walk-in clinics.

Even though the county remains in Phase 2 this week, a walk-in clinic is planned for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Riverfront Community. This clinic will be open to people who qualify for the vaccine under the guidelines for Phases 1 and 2, according to Sloop.

According to the governor's office, it is anticipated Kansas will move into the fifth and final phase of the state's vaccination distribution plan no later than May 1.

"I urge all Kansans to do their part by getting vaccinated when it is their turn and continuing to follow the public health guidance, so we can return back to normal," Kelly said in a news release.

Walk-in clinic

The Leavenworth County Health Department will have a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday at the Riverfront Community Center, 123 S. Esplanade St.

The clinic will be open to anyone who qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1 or 2 of the state's vaccination plan. This includes anyone who has a vaccination appointment scheduled for Thursday with the Leavenworth County Health Department.