Governor Kelly and Sec. of Labor discuss coronavirus, Kansas is up to 552 cases

KNSS News
April 02, 2020 - 3:51 pm

Governor Laura Kelly says the state is working to improve service for those seeking unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.

“To every Kansan who has hit a wall, please know we’re doing everything we can to improve services,” she said during a briefing in Topeka Thursday afternoon.

Kelly said the Kansas Department of Labor has been overwhelmed with phone calls since people began losing their jobs because of the pandemic. She again used the example of the 877,000 phone calls the department received Monday.

She was joined by Kansas Labor Secretary Delia García at the briefing. They listed some of the steps that have been taken to address the complaints they are getting from unemployed workers unable to file for help.

Kelly and García listed the improvements that are in the works.

The state has brought on Amazon Web Services to expand capacity on the phone line and to be able to sort the types of calls

The department is hiring more help, including bringing back former and retired workers

The state has reassigned workers from other agencies to help with the non-technical phone calls

The department’s computer system is getting an upgrade to handle the high volume of traffic

Kelly says the best way to file for unemployment is on the website GetKansasBenefits.gov. She said some users have received error messages related to user names or passwords. She believes those problems have been fixed and users should try again and follow the prompts to reset either user names or passwords.

If you do try the phone number, (800) 292-6333, the governor says you should not hang up. She says that hanging up just puts you at the back of the line when you call in again.

The governor also addressed some criticism she has heard about Kansas using a GPS cell phone tracking website to see which counties are not as good at obeying the state’s stay-at-home order.

She said it is not a government website and the state does not have any contracts with the company. It is Unacast.com which is publicly available to anyone. She said the website is giving state leaders a better idea of which counties they need to focus on with their message of social distancing.

The latest numbers from the state show 552 cases of coronavirus in Kansas with 13 deaths.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment website also shows 79 of those cases are from Sedgwick County.

Total Positive Cases: 552 (up 70 from Wednesday), (Note: KDHE does not report recoveries)

Deaths (included in above numbers): 13

Hospitalizations: 138

Total Negative Cases for Kansans: 6,059

Sedgwick County Positive Cases: 79 (up 15 from Wednesday), the county says 10 have recovered.

POSITIVE CASES BY COUNTY:

Anderson 1

Atchison 1

Barton 2

Bourbon 3

Butler 7

Chautauqua 1

Cherokee 4

Clay 1

Cloud 1

Coffey 16

Cowley 1

Crawford 6

Doniphan 1

Douglas 31

Finney 3

Franklin 7

Gove 1

Harvey 2

Jackson 1

Jefferson 1

Johnson 161

Labette 1

Leavenworth 27

Linn 5

Lyon 16

McPherson 5

Mitchell 2

Montgomery 6

Morris 2

Neosho 1

Osage 3

Ottawa 1

Pottawatomie 2

Pratt 1

Reno 8

Riley 6

Saline 3

Sedgwick 79

Shawnee 20

Stafford 1

Stevens 1

Sumner 1

Woodson 3

Wyandotte 106

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