Gov. Kelly urges state to ‘hunker down’ during holidays amid virus surge

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Picture of Gov. Laura Kelly during daily briefing
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TOPEKA, Kan. — Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly warned residents Wednesday not to let down their guard during Thanksgiving Day celebrations.

Coronavirus cases continue to soar, and hospitals are overflowing in the state. The number of confirmed and probable case cases rose by 5,738 from Monday to 147,797, bringing the daily average to 2,743 over the past week.

Kansas has the 4th highest positivity rate in the country, Kelly said in reference to an update from the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

The number of deaths increased by 47 over the past two days to 1,503, according to state health officials. That’s a 2% rate of death rate.

“It is easy to become desensitized to the COVID numbers as they rise,” Gov. Kelly said in her daily briefing. “I understand how discouraging and frustrating it is… but we cannot return to any semblance of normal until this virus is under control, until we flatten the curve, until a vaccine is available, widely distributed and vaccination rates are significant. Until then, I encourage Kansans to hunker down.”

Kelly urged Kansans planning on celebrating Thanksgiving to heed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations, found on the CDC website.

Kansas health chief Dr. Lee Norman warned that hospitals are running out of beds and especially staff.

The problem is so severe that doctors and nurses in rural parts of the state have been complaining about spending hours on the phone arranging transfers. Some patients are being flown hundreds of miles because closer hospitals have no capacity.

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