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Gov. Kelly receives Moderna vaccine, urges steadfastness in COVID-19 precautions

Gov. Laura Kelly (D) receives Moderna vaccine at the Kansas National Guard Nickell Armory.
Gov. Laura Kelly (D) receives Moderna vaccine at the Kansas National Guard Nickell Armory.(WIBW)
Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 3:01 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly is one of the hundreds of key leaders and workers considered essential to receive the COVID-19 vaccine after the state identified the people needed to ensure continuity of government function.

She got her first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the Kansas National Guard Nickell Armory Wednesday.

Kelly said about taking the vaccine and having other officials look to her, “That’s what I think leadership is. Setting an example, among many other things, but it is setting an example.”

Moments earlier, she and Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman updated the state’s unified testing strategy. With the state expanding from seven free testing sits to 42. They can be found at GoGetTested.com/Kansas

The state also unveiled two new mobile labs and a third, smaller unit. Norman said they can be deployed across the state whenever and wherever needed with the necessary equipment.

“The mobile unit allows ample space for multiple technicians to work inside it. In a safe laboratory environment similar to traditional laboratory buildings,” he said. “We are looking forward to deploying these units across the state to locations with testing needs.”

Norman believes they will a tool to mitigate the spread across the entire state.

“This significantly reduces the time between sample collection and reporting -- particularly rural areas that do not have access to a lab nearby,” he said.

Kelly also said there’s reason to be optimistic about the state’s economy bouncing back.

Despite the pandemic, 2020 broke records for new capital investment in the state since the commerce department was created in 1986.

As of this week, they have closed on 131 new projects worth $2.5 billion in capital investment, which has created and retained more than 13,800 jobs.

“I am confident that the dedicated employees over at commerce will continue to strengthen our economy by creating jobs for 2021 and for many years to come,” she said.

Kelly said they expect to receive two more shipments of 17,550 doses of the Pfizer vaccine -- one this week and one next week. Along with another 17,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine next week as well.

For the full news conference. you can go to the WIBW Facebook page: HERE

With 2020 soon to be behind Kansans, Governor Laura Kelly is urging residents to continue COVID-19 safety precautions.

Governor Laura Kelly says as of Wednesday, Dec. 30, Kansas has reported 6,371 new cases of COVID-19 since the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Monday update and 193 new COVID-19 related deaths. She said this brings the state’s total up to 222,433 cases of the virus, 6,670 hospitalizations and 2,741 deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. She said these numbers serve as a stark reminder to remain steadfast in practicing COVID-19 safety precautions such as wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands often.

Gov. Kelly also says President Trump has signed the new COVID-19 relief package. She said this is a good start, however, Congress must recognize that if economies are to continue to recover, it must provide more funds to stimulate growth.

According to the Kansas Governor, the state has performed 170,000 COVID-19 tests related to her unified testing strategy. She said there have been 962,000 tests since the beginning of the pandemic. She said there are now 42 COVID-19 testing sites on gogettested.com/kansas, which is up from the initial seven testing sites. She said her administration will continue her All of the Above approach to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 into 2021.

Gov. Kelly said Kansas received another shipment of 17,550 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. She said the Pfizer vaccine has begun being distributed to residents of long-term care facilities from Walgreens and CVS while healthcare workers will continue to get the Moderna vaccine. She said the state also received its second dose of the initial 24,000 Pfizer vaccines that were received earlier in December. She said she will be getting her own vaccine at 5 p.m., on Dec. 30, following her update.

As Kansas enters 2021, Gov. Kelly said residents must not let the events of 2020 be exclusively defined by hardships. She said as a reminder, many Kansans have stepped up to help neighbors and businesses. She said Kansans have persevered and have not let COVID-19 stop the rebuilding of the state’s foundation. She said her administration implemented the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program, established the new office of broadband development and continues to rebuild the economic foundation of the state and create jobs despite a global pandemic.

Governor Kelly said in 2020, Kansas made history. She said 2020 was officially the most successful year for new capital investment in the state since the creation of the Kansas Department of Commerce. She said as of the week of Dec. 28, Kansas has closed on 131 new projects that are worth over $2.5 billion in capital investments. She said the new projects also created and retained over 13,800 jobs in the state. She said she is confident that employees at the Kansas Department of Commerce will continue to strengthen the economy in 2021.

Secretary of the KDHE, Dr. Lee Norman said Kansas also has two new mobile laboratories and a third smaller multipurpose van. He said the mobile labs are the newest labs available from MRI Global, which is based in Kansas City. He said the units can be deployed whenever and wherever they are needed. He said they also reduce the time between the collection of a COVID-19 sample and reporting those results. He said the units provide ample space for physicians to work and will be deployed to locations throughout Kansas with continued testing needs. Dr. Norman said the mobile units can also be used for vaccine distribution. He said it will remain important for Kansans to remain vigilant in protecting themselves against COVID-19 over the New Year’s holiday.

Gov. Kelly said she would like to recognize Dr. Elizabeth Hineman of Scott City. She said Dr. Hineman has been practicing in Scott County since 2006 and serves as a consultant the Scott Co. Public Health Department. She said Dr. Hineman has been steadfast in working to educate residents about COVID-19 through her use of social media.

Dec. 29, 3:01 p.m.

Gov. Kelly to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Governor Laura Kelly will get her COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday.

Governor Laura Kelly says she will receive her COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at 5 p.m.

According to Gov. Kelly, she will host her weekly COVID-19 update at 4 p.m., before receiving her vaccine.

If you cannot view our video player, watch along here or on our Facebook Live.

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