Kansas today reported 8,958 cases, an increase of 419 cases since Wednesday, according to Dr. Lee Norman, Kansas secretary of health.
Dr. Norman said the number of deaths increased by seven in the state, to 185, since Wednesday.
Hospitalizations and death rates per capita were improving, he said at a news conference. While the number of positive cases is increasing with more testing, the percentage of positive cases is declining, he said.
Gov. Laura Kelly at the news conference took legislators to task for their behavior and for passing complex legislation in the middle of the night that other legislators did not have the opportunity to read and review. The Legislature, which had to leave in March because of COVID-19, adjourned this morning and is not scheduled to return until January.
On Thursday, overnight and this morning, there were many time-honored decorums of the Senate that were thrown out the window, she said. She added that lobbyists and Republican leaders crafted self-serving legislation behind closed doors, and that when the bills reached the floor, all public debate was banned.
She said she could not say yet if she would veto legislation limiting the governor’s power in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, she said she would make decisions after reading and reviewing the bills, on their own merits.
Gov. Kelly said she would continue to implement the state’s Ad Astra plan to safely reopen the economy when it is safe. She said she shared the concern that there is a need to get Kansans back to work as safely as possible.
On Friday, the first day of the state’s moving into Phase 2 of the Ad Astra reopening plan, Dr. Norman reminded residents that just because the state is starting this phase, it doesn’t mean the coronavirus is going away.
He mentioned that an outbreak between May 2 and May 10 was attributed to an outing at Lake Perry, and added that anyone with symptoms who went there should see a health care provider.
“If you go out for any reason, wear a mask,” Dr. Norman said. When you don’t wear a mask, you’re not in control of your world, he said, and you don’t know who is on the elevator with you who may have coughed or sneezed. “One way to take control is with a mask.”
Dr. Norman said actions overnight in the Kansas Legislature served as a disappointment, but they try to remain separate from political processes. He said they would try to depoliticize the process and continue to do prevention and public health work. They will continue to do the job they have to do, he said.
Dr. Norman reported that there were 99 clusters in the state, with half of them active, resulting in 4,960 cases and 133 deaths.
Three clusters in corrections facilities resulted in 971 cases and 6 deaths, he said.
Ten clusters in gatherings resulted in 126 cases and 11 deaths. Eight of these clusters are now closed cases.
Group living situations had 7 clusters, five of which are closed, 68 cases and 2 deaths, he said.
Health care had 3 clusters, now closed, with 22 cases, he said.
Long-term care facilities had 26 clusters, with 13 closed, 632 cases and 104 deaths, he said.
Meatpacking plants had 10 clusters, with 2,398 cases and 7 deaths, he said.
Private industry had 40 clusters, with 21 closed, 343 cases and 3 deaths, he said.
On Friday, the KDHE reported that Wyandotte County had 1,269 cases; Leavenworth County, with outbreaks at the state prison, had 1,069 cases; and Johnson County had 711 cases.
In all, 88 counties reported positive COVID-19 cases. Some of the other counties with high numbers were Ford County, 1,558; Finney County, 1,367; Seward County, 815; Sedgwick County, 523; Lyon County, 377; and Shawnee County, 249. Jackson County, Kansas, where there is a meatpacking plant, rose to 82 cases. There were 31 cases there on Wednesday.
Douglas County reported 62 cases and Riley County reported 60.
The governor’s and health secretary’s news conference is online at https://www.facebook.com/GovLauraKelly/.
The UG’s COVID-19 information page is at https://alpha.wycokck.org/Coronavirus-COVID-19-Information.
Wyandotte County is under the state’s Phase 2 plan starting Friday at covid.ks.gov.
The state plan’s frequently asked questions page is at https://covid.ks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Reopening-FAQ_5.19.2020_Final.pdf.
The state has an information page about what activities are safe on Memorial Day weekend, at https://covid.ks.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Safe-Memorial-Day-Guidance-5.19_Final.pdf.
Additional guidelines from the governor’s office about Phase 2 are at https://www.wycokck.org/WycoKCK/media/Health-Department/Documents/Communicable%20Disease/COVID19/AdAstraUpdate519.pdf.
Test sites are listed at https://wyandotte-county-covid-19-hub-unifiedgov.hub.arcgis.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-think-you-have-covid-19.
The CDC’s COVID-19 web page is at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.