Most of Kansas continues to see high rate of new COVID-19 cases

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment released its latest COVID-19 statistics on Wednesday. As of 9 a.m., there were 4,164 new cases and 45 new deaths reported since Wednesday, September 7, bringing the total statewide death toll to 9,072 since the start of the pandemic. The increase in deaths has been attributed to reconciliation of death data from the Bureau of Vital Statistics and does not necessarily reflect an increase in recent deaths.

The weekly cumulative incidence rate, also known as the weekly new case rate, shows that most of Kansas ranks “high,” meaning 100 or more cases per 100,000 population. This was true for all counties in the region except Rice, which showed a “substantial” rate of 50 to 99 cases per 100,000. Statewide, four counties: Cheyenne, Rawlins, Greeley, Edwards and Kiowa, had no new cases for the period beginning September 3 and ending September 9. The most recent five days are not included as the data should be incomplete.

Here are the new case totals for this period from counties in the region:

• Barton 42

• Ellsworth 10

• Pawnee 10

• Rice 5

• Rush 6

• Russell 8

• Stafford 10

Frequently Asked: I have to be quarantined for 14 days and I don’t have enough time off from work to cover it. Will the state pay my salary since I have to be quarantined?

KDHE replies: If you are not working or have reduced hours due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. The Unemployment Insurance (UI) program was created to protect those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. It is designed to be a short-term assistance program and may be able to help those whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. Contact the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) in your area if you have questions or for more information on the KDOL website (dol.ks.gov/home).

A reader asks: Can I get financial assistance to cover funeral expenses for a loved one who died of COVID-19?

Great Bend Tribune responds: We found this information at https://www.kansastag.gov/press_release_detail.asp?PRid=18680

• 21-021 Financial assistance available through FEMA for funeral expenses related to COVID-19

If your family has incurred funeral expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for financial assistance.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA provides financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

To access information and assistance, call the COVID-19 Funeral Helpline, 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Call this dedicated toll-free number to get a completed COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Application with the assistance of FEMA representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, please provide your specific number assigned to this service. It is important that FEMA can contact you, and you should be aware that phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions: The death must have occurred in the United States, including US territories, and the District of Columbia.

– The death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19.

– Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

– It is not necessary that the deceased person was a US citizen, non-citizen or qualified alien.

We encourage you to retain and collect all funeral-related documents. Types of information should include:

– An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including US territories, and the District of Columbia.

– Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the name of the claimant, the name of the deceased, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

– Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for funeral expenses. We are unable to duplicate benefits received from funeral or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary organizations, government agencies or other sources.

– If you are eligible for funeral assistance, you will receive a check by mail or by direct deposit, depending on the option you choose when you request assistance.

Additional resources can be found by going online to https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

Great Bend Tribune readers can send questions to editor-in-chief Susan Thacker by emailing [email protected]

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