Governor gives update on coronavirus, Kansas cases climb to 482, up from 428

KNSS News
April 01, 2020 - 4:06 pm

Cases of coronavirus in Kansas climbed to 482 on Wednesday. It is up slightly from 428 on Tuesday. The Kansas Department of Health said there have been 10 deaths.

Total Positive Cases: 482

Private Labs: 361

Kansas Health and Environmental Lab: (KHEL) 121

Deaths (included in above numbers): 10

Out-of-State Resident Positive Cases*: (not counted in KS #s) 2

Total Negative Cases for Kansans: 5,411

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly and Dr. Lee Norman, the head of the KDHE, addressed several issues Wednesday afternoon.

Death at Burlington nursing home

A 90-year-old woman at a nursing home in Coffey County has died one day after testing positive for coronavirus. There have been 24 cases of connected with Life Care Center in Burlington. Twelve of them are people who work at the center and the other 12 are the seniors who live there.

Some of those workers live outside of Coffey County so they’re counted in their home counties.

COVID-19 exposure at church conference

Dr. Norman mentioned the people exposed to COVID-19 at the Kansas East Jurisdiction’s 2020 Ministers and Workers Conference at the Miracle Temple Church of God in Christ in Kansas City.

Several positive coronavirus tests have been linked to the conference. Norman said this is an example of how people gather and then the cases spread to other counties.

Testing

Norman said Kansas is still struggling with getting swabs to get samples for testing. He was optimistic though about a new product that will offer a 45-minute rapid test. He hopes to have up to 64,000 test kits in the next few weeks.

He said if they can get more tests done, it will allow the KDHE to do population studies.

GPS tracking of social distancing

The KDHE is using a GPS program that tracks people’s locations through their cell phones. From the data, the state can tell that a lot of Kansans are not following social-distancing guidelines.

The program the state is using gave Kansas a grade of B Monday but has now downgraded the state to a C. Dr. Norman said some Kansas counties are getting an F grade because of how many people are not observing the stay-at-home order.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Dr. Norman says the KDHE distributed PPE to 26 counties Tuesday and to 30 more counties Wednesday, but there is still a shortage.

He acknowledged that there have been local initiatives to make items like masks and gowns for healthcare workers, but he said he doesn’t have a lot of confidence that they meet the standards to protect workers.

The KDHE is looking into ways to sterilize some of the PPE so it can be used more than once. He said other states are doing that.

Lansing Correctional Facility

Three workers at Lansing Correctional Facility have tested positive. They have been isolated. Health officials are investigating and contacting anyone who may be at risk.

If any inmates are at risk, they will be isolated from others.

Tornado Warnings

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management wants people to know that seeking shelter should be the priority if there is a potential tornado. Opening a community shelter will be at the discretion of local officials.

If you normally seek shelter in a community building, check to see if it will be open. This should be done well before any warnings are issued.

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