Dr. Aron Burke, left, was the first person to receive the COVID-19 Moderna vaccination in Atchison County, administered by nurse Andrea Cook, right.

Atchison County Health Department is excited to announce the arrival of COVID-19 Moderna vaccine. Medical Director, R. Aron Burke, M.D., received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse, Andrea Cook, on December 23. The COVID-19 vaccine arrival provides another tool public health will have for fighting COVID-19 and protecting those who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus. While the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine is good news, it will likely take months until the general public will be vaccinated.

Until we see widespread vaccine availability and community participation, Julie Livengood, Atchison County Health Department Administrator, is urging Atchison County residents to continue to practice our best defenses including hand washing, physical distancing, wearing a mask, and staying home when you are sick. “This is the perfect time of year for the gift of protection,” says Livengood. 

The Atchison County Health Department, in collaboration with local and state partners, will provide COVID-19 vaccines in accordance with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services state plan for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. This plan includes the use of a tiered approach to provide the vaccine to priority groups and those most at risk. Patient facing healthcare workers and long-term care center residents and staff will be first in line to receive the vaccine. 

The Atchison County Health Department will provide more information on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine to those groups who are eligible to receive the vaccine. Vaccine availability will determine how quickly the Atchison County Health Department can offer COVID-19 vaccine to priority groups. 

Atchison County Health Department will release more information as it becomes available.

Free COVID-19 Testing

Community testing events serve the residents of Missouri. DHSS is partnering with the Missouri Community Health Centers and MAKO Medical Laboratories to offer these free testing events. There is no eligibility other than to have a Missouri address.

Free testing will be offered Monday, January 4, 2021, from 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Tarkio United Methodist Church, 201 N. 6th Street. Registration is strongly recommended. To register, go to the following website: https://mako.exchange/splash/MOmakotesting/ and scroll down to Testing Sites and Registration. Click on Register for this Event, fill out the form and submit. If you need assistance, call 919-351-MAKO (6256).

The test is a PCR test done by an anterior nares or midnasal swab to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This is not an antigen or antibody test.

Nine new COVID-19 cases reported

The Atchison County Health Department reports there were nine new cases December 21-27, 2020:

2 females, 1 male – ages 30-39

2 females – ages 40-49

1 female, 1 male – ages 60-69

1 female, 1 male – ages 80-89

As of December 27, 2020, there have been 352 total cases and 10 deaths in Atchison County. Ten cases are active. The current seven-day testing positivity rate from December 17-23, 2020, is 2.5%.

The COVID vaccine has been made available to Tier 1a populations, which includes health care workers. The Atchison County Health Department received 110 doses of the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine was provided to 40 health care workers on Wednesday, December 23, and planned to provide the vaccine for 70 health care workers on Monday, December 28. Check online for vaccine information and to learn more at https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/

The health department will be notified by the state when they should begin providing vaccine to Tier 1b agencies.

COVID-19 In Atchison County







MALE 153



21-29 YEARS 32

30-39 YEARS 39

40-49 YEARS 44

50-59 YEARS 53

60-69 YEARS 68

70-79 YEARS 48

80+ YEARS 28