Mitchell County Health Department Update – 7/28/2021

Dear Mitchell County Residents,

Throughout the pandemic, multiple variants have been identified, and continue to be expected as long as transmission of COVID-19 continues. The most recent variant of concern, the Delta variant, once accounted for less than 1% of cases in May, now accounts for more than 80% of cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC has also stated Delta has been demonstrated to be more contagious, spreading about twice as easily from one person to another than previously identified strains, resulting in changes to the recommendations of masks. On Tuesday, July 27th, 2021 the CDC released a recommendation to everyone in areas with substantial and high transmission to wear a mask in public indoor settings, including fully vaccinated individuals.

What do we currently know? The CDC has identified vaccination is the most important public health action to end the COVID-19 pandemic, however, vaccination rates remain below 40% in over half the counties in the United States. In Mitchell County, as of July 27, 2021, 53% of our eligible population have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series, and 57% of the eligible population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. While breakthrough cases are a possibility in vaccinated individuals, it represents a small proportion of overall cases, and a vast majority are avoiding serious illness, hospitalization, or death, per the CDC.

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Although all guidance and recommendations provided are subject to change, additional guidance provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment states vaccinated persons with an exposure to a suspected or confirmed positive COVID-19 person are not required to quarantine if they meet the following criteria:

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e. 2 or more weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or 2 or more weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine)
  • Have remained asymptomatic since the exposure.

In Mitchell County, we do have vaccine available for ages 12 and older. For Pfizer vaccine, please contact S&S Pharmacy in Beloit. For Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine, please contact the Mitchell County Health Department.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has created numerous challenges for individuals and communities to overcome. However, Mitchell County has done a tremendous job remaining resilient throughout this difficult time.


Cortney Murrow, Administrator
Mitchell County Health Department

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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