Following is the Saline County Health Department COVID-19 update for Friday.
Have you gotten robocalls, text messages, or emails offering COVID-19 tests in exchange for your Medicare Number? Be careful! Scammers are selling fake and unauthorized at-home COVID-19 test kits in exchange for your personal or medical information. Do not give out your Medicare Number for COVID-19 test kits!
Make sure to purchase FDA-approved COVID-19 test kits from legitimate providers. Over-the-counter or at-home tests are available for sale around the U.S. at many reputable and trustworthy retailers and pharmacies.
Remember, each household in the U.S. can also have four free COVID-19 at-home tests shipped directly to their home at no cost.
If you suspect fraud, call 1-800-MEDICARE to report it.
Another member of our community has lost their life to COVID-19 since our last update on Wednesday, bringing the total number of lives lost in Saline County to 207.
The Salina Regional Health Center reports that there are currently 18 patients hospitalized battling COVID-19.
Another 17 positive COVID-19 test results have been reported to the Saline County Health Department since Wednesday. It is important to note, that this does not include home test kits or those who are presumed positive and do not test.
There are 134 known active cases of COVID-19.
All new cases are now being handled by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
We are reducing the frequency of our COVID public reporting - and here's why
Beginning the week of February 21, the Saline County Health Department will reduce the frequency of our "COVID by The Numbers" report to once per week.
COVID-19 was first reported in our county almost two years ago. Since the pandemic began much of our staffing, time, and resources have been diverted to combat the pandemic. Unfortunately, many long-standing and valuable programs provided by the Health Department have not received the attention they merit during that time. On this front, we intend to focus more of our energies to re-establish and strengthen non-COVID related public health programs.
Thankfully, reliable at-home testing has become ubiquitous in recent months offering the general public easy access to their COVID status. As at-home testing does not get reported to state or local authorities and it is not reflected in our data points. Additionally, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has taken over all new COVID case investigations.
Our intention is to give the public actionable data that you can use to make decisions and determinations in your personal health. Reducing this report to once a week, rather than three times a week will continue to give the community the information needed to make these decisions but also allow the Health Department staff to prioritize other health initiatives.
You can continue to find updated COVID information and data points on the websites below.