KDHE Encourages Vaccinations and Precautions this Fourth of July Weekend


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) urges Kansans to take proactive measures this holiday weekend to protect themselves and their loved ones from the rapidly spreading Delta variant.

“As we all begin to travel and gather with friends and family, it’s critically important to keep our communities and loved ones safe,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “We all have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially as new strains emerge. We can all do our part to keep our communities safe by getting vaccinated and following the CDC guidelines.”

This week, Kansas has recorded 1,211 news cases, 12 deaths and also seen an increase in the presence of the Delta variant. There are three deaths recorded in Kansas attributable to the Delta variant.

“This is a fast-spreading variant that spreads quickly in communities that have the lowest vaccination rates,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE Secretary said.  “Please get vaccinated and in the interim, please take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

If Kansans are planning to attend large gatherings, here are additional recommendations from CDC:

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, stay home.

Stay at least 6 feet away from people who do not live with you.

  • You are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with people who don’t live with you.
  • Remember that people without symptoms or with a recent negative test result can still spread COVID-19 to others.
  • Choose safer outdoor venues if possible.
  • Choose venues that limit seating and allow for social distancing and select your seat or place to stand based on your ability to stay at least 6 feet from others.
  • Arrive to the event early or at off-peak times to avoid crowding and congested areas.
  • Avoid using restroom facilities or concession areas at high traffic times, such as intermission, half-time, or immediately after the event.

Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

  • As much as possible, avoid crowds and indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors.
  • You are less likely to get or spread COVID-19 during outdoor activities. Look for seating options that are outside or have proper ventilation with outdoor air, such as tents that have open doors or rolled up sides.

Wear a mask.

  • Wear a mask with two or more layers to stop the spread of COVID-19 to protect yourself and others.
  • Wear your mask over your nose and mouth, secure it under your chin, and make sure it fits snugly against the sides of your face.
  • Keep a spare mask in case your mask becomes wet from moisture in your breath or from snow or rain.

If you have symptoms or were exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, get tested. Testing is available by visiting

To find a vaccine near you, visit

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 2021 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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