June 2021
As we begin to get back to almost normal, it’s great to see businesses open back up and families in our community enjoying the new updates at the Sedgwick County Zoo and baseball games at the new Riverfront Stadium. I appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigated the last 15 months, especially when things related to COVID-19 were changing daily. The Sedgwick County Health Department continues to offer vaccine at the community vaccine clinic, 223 S. Main and at mobile and partner clinics around Sedgwick County. I encourage you to get the vaccine if you are able, and help us put this pandemic behind us.

I was recently selected as the 2021 recipient of the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers Citizen of the Year Award. I attended the awards banquet on June 24 at their state conference where I accepted the award. I am thankful and humbled and will continue to do what I can to make this city, county, region and state a better place for us all.

On Saturday, June 26 the City of Wichita held a ribbon cutting in celebration of improvements to the Redbud Path in east Wichita. The path is located in my district and I was a big part of the project during my time at the City. It’s exciting to see the newly improved trail come to fruition and I encourage folks to get outside and enjoy it.

I have long been involved in the conversation regarding the Amtrak train system and it is time for you – the community – to weigh in on new and upcoming opportunities. We are getting closer than ever to getting this completed. Please take a moment to voice your support for investment surrounding the Amtrak expansion. https://www.amtrakconnectsus.com/take-action/

Wishing you all a safe and enjoyable 4th of July holiday with family and friends.
COVID-19 Report for June 30, 2021
Comparing case counts from Monday to today:

  • The United States of America case count increased from 33,631,532 to 33,658,635 (+ 0.08 percent).
  • The State of Kansas case count increased from 317,651 to 318,106 (+ 0.14 percent). 
  • In Sedgwick County, case counts increased from 48,826 to 48,902 (+ 0.16 percent). 

The Sedgwick County Health Department offers no-cost sampling at Sunflower Shelter at Sedgwick County Park, 6501 W. 21st Street. Walk-ins are welcome Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Please enter off 13th Street.
 
The Health Department takes a nasal, oral, or saliva sample to send to a lab for COVID-19 PCR testing. Results are generally available within 18 to 36 hours. The results of the virus test show whether a person has a current infection. This is not an antibody test.
 
Visit www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19 to learn more about the County’s response to COVID-19. 
COVID-19 Walk-in Sampling Closed for Independence Day
The Sedgwick County Health Department no-cost COVID-19 walk-in sampling at Sedgwick County Park will be closed Monday, July 5 for Independence Day. Normal hours of operation will resume Tuesday, July 6.
COVID-19 Vaccination Update
Beginning the week of July 5, the community vaccine clinic at 223 S. Main will be walk-in only on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and no vaccine clinic appointments will be available on the Sedgwick County website.
 
Beginning Wednesday, July 7, people going to the community vaccine clinic should plan to bring a quarter for the parking meter.

The last day of the drive-thru vaccination clinic at Wichita Transit Operations, 777 E. Waterman was Thursday, June 24. Sedgwick County Health Department is no longer operating at that location due to decreased demand for the drive-thru.

Sedgwick County Health Department offers the Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine at multiple locations across Sedgwick County. The Pfizer vaccine is available to people age 12 and older; the J&J vaccine is available to people age 18 or older.

The Health Department offers the following no-cost, walk-in vaccine clinic options:

  • Main Vaccine Clinic at the former Wichita Public Library | 223 S. Main, Wichita, KS 67202
  • Mobile Clinics are offered by SCHD staff
  • Partner Clinics are offered by community partners and assisted by SCHD staff. Appointments preferred but walk-ins are welcome
  • Event Clinics are where SCHD offers vaccine during an event. Businesses planning events can contact SCHD by email at SCHDCovidVaccine@sedgwick.gov

For a full list of mobile, partner, and event clinics and information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in Sedgwick County, please visit www.sedgwickcounty.org/covid-19/vaccine.
Stay Safe Over the Holiday
In order to ensure everyone has a safe holiday, residents should be aware of regulation on fireworks sales and discharges in Sedgwick County municipalities and unincorporated areas. This information is available at www.sedgwickcounty.org/fire.

Sedgwick County Fire District 1 urges residents to stay safe over the holiday with the following tips:

  • Small children should not handle fireworks; even sparklers can be harmful if mishandled.
  • Older children and young adults should be monitored by an adult when handling fireworks.
  • Follow the directions on packages closely.
  • Always keep a bucket of water and a water hose nearby.
  • Keep fireworks away from dry grass, hay, trees, and all structures.
  • Try to light fireworks on gravel, concrete, or a hard surface that will not ignite.
 
Watch a brief video related to firework safety here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSrMVt1Rj-I
Non-Emergency Line Active during July 4 Holiday 
The Sedgwick County Courthouse and Sedgwick County offices will be closed Monday, July 5 in observance of Independence Day. Emergency services are available by dialing or texting 9-1-1.

The Sedgwick County Emergency Communications’ non-emergency phone line, 316-290-1011, will be available during the following hours:

  • 6 p.m. July 1 through 3 a.m. July 2
  • 6 p.m. July 2 through 3 a.m. July 3
  • 6 p.m. July 3 through 3 a.m. July 4
  • 6 p.m. July 4 through 3 a.m. July 5
 
This line functions as an alternative to 9-1-1 and is meant to receive calls for non-emergency nuisances that do not pose a threat to life or property; examples include complaints pertaining to parties, excess noise, fireworks, etc. It was established to prevent an influx of nuisance calls that can block emergency calls from reaching a call taker; the non-emergency line is activated during times of historically high call volumes and as otherwise needed. If someone calls 9-1-1 with a non-emergency nuisance complaint, he or she will be transferred to the non-emergency line.
Protect Yourself Against Mosquitoes this Summer 
Fight the bite this summer and protect yourself against mosquitoes. Sedgwick County Health Department (SCHD) suggest following the three D’s to avoid mosquito bites this summer. Drain standing water; the insects breed in standing water. Use mosquito dunks or mosquito-eating fish in ponds and stagnant water. Use insect repellent that contains DEET; this offers the best protection against mosquito bites. Dress appropriately: wear loose-fitting clothing when outdoor, especially at dawn and dusk when the insects are most active.

The SCHD is offering no cost mosquito dunks to help protect you and your family from bites this summer. The SCHD asks that you be 18 or older and provide your ZIP code for tracking. For more information or to request dunks call them at (316) 660-7300.
Sedgwick County Zoo Celebrates 50 Years!
The Sedgwick County Zoo recently held a grand opening and ribbon cutting to reveal and celebrate the new entrance and gift shop. The Zoo also announced their plans to celebrate turning 50 years old! Head to Sedgwick County Zoo’s Facebook Page to stay up-to-date on new information and announcements.

A full birthday announcement video can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CErf0Jfn2s.
Donate Blood Today
The American Red Cross is facing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise. These important procedures are depleting the nation’s blood inventory. Donors of all blood types, especially type O and those giving platelets are urged to make an appointment to give as soon as possible to prevent further impact to patients. For information on a blood drive near you, go to RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Airxcel Expands Workforce in Wichita
On June 2, Airxcel - a local advanced manufacturing company - announced plans to expand capacity and grow its workforce at its Wichita facility. Airxcel is a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of branded products for the global recreation vehicle (RV) and specialty HVAC markets.

Watch the announcement here: https://fb.watch/5TG4fYuPsd/.
Sedgwick County Fire District 1 Opens New Fire Station
In late May, a ribbon cutting was held to celebrate the new Fire Station 31 located in Andale. Firefighters began using the facility shortly after the opening. The project was completed in nine months, costing more than $2.2 million dollars. The new space will help serve the Andale community well into the future.

A video of the ribbon cutting can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1qsLcXICFo
Department of Corrections Celebrates Evening Reporting Center Graduates
Since The Parent Project's inception in the County in 2019, the focus has been to provide assistance to families with youth in the juvenile justice system to be engaged and effective in parenting and support. Graduation from this program means individuals have joined the ranks of other proud Evening Reporting Center: Youth Graduation - Parent Project graduates. 

Congratulations to the graduates for completing the program!
Contact Commissioner Pete Meitzner
316-660-9300
525 N. Main, Ste 320, Wichita, KS 67203