By NICK GOSNELL
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Dave Trabert with the Kansas Policy Institute wrote an article this week for their online publication, the Sentinel, that questions the thought process by Governor Laura Kelly in looking to vaccinate the prison population in Kansas before some of the elderly population.
"Governor Kelly has been saying for a couple of weeks now that she thinks prisoners should be ahead of the elderly," Trabert said. "They live in close proximity to each other and we don't want it to spread in prisons, so we should inoculate them before we inoculate the elderly. This is just not supported by the data."
Here in Reno County, of the 105 deaths reported through January 6, 41 are attributed to long-term care facilities, which generally include the elderly. Only three prisoners have died and now there are only five active infections as of the 6th.
"If you look at number of cases, you look at the rate of hospitalizations, the survival rate, everything, it unquestionably supports putting the elderly first. You want to inoculate the most vulnerable and that would include any elderly prisoners."
When looking at the statewide numbers, the risk isn't close.
"0.2% of the cases in correctional facilities are attributed to a COVID death, versus 16% for adults 85 plus. That makes adults 85 plus eighty times more likely to die than residents of correctional facilities."
The latest KDHE numbers say that as of January 3rd, the overall survival rate from COVID in Reno County is 98.5%.