Health secretary disappointed after Kansas among 14 states with most rapid COVID-19 spread

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas made a national list it does not want to be on. It tracks the states with the fastest spread of the coronavirus. 

The Sunflower State is tied for 11th

“We cannot rest on our laurels right now,” Kansas’ Health Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said. “We don’t want his to drag on for 18 months.”

Norman is sending a warning to Kansans as the state is now in the top 14 states for the most rapid COVID-19 spread.

“It is really troublesome because we have backslid, and we know what it’s from and we have predicted what it’s from,” Norman said.

It’s from ignoring the proper guidelines, he said, and people not following the governor’s orders.

He said Kansas is also in the top 14 states for having the least amount of restrictions on activities.

Gov. Laura Kelly said nearly 3,500 new cases have been reported to the health department in the past two weeks. She said it’s the steepest rate of increase that we’ve seen since the pandemic began. 

“This dramatic uptick in the number of cases is quite directly related to the decreased amount of restrictions that I know people don’t want to do, but really need to be attentive to that,” Norman said.

In a tweet Tuesday, Norman showed a picture from last weekend of boats latched together and people refusing to social distance.

“Kind of in a party cove environment — that’s not social distancing,” Norman said. “You go into bars where there’s a lot of alcohol being consumed, people are hollering and laughing, great fun, but that spreads the viral particles.“

Norman said we need to get back to basics: frequent hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing.

He also noted that we have the ability to be our own protection, and he encouraged Kansans to take the virus seriously again after getting off track. 

If we stick to the guidelines, Norman expects to see an admirable reduction in the number of new cases over the next 28 days.

Kansas will reports its latest numbers Wednesday, but the state has seen four straight days of drops in cases through Monday. 

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