Kansas sets new COVID highs; governor to meet with leaders

Tracking Coronavirus

FILE – In this Oct. 13, 2020, file photo, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly walks toward a news conference at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Kansas’ coronavirus positivity rate has climbed above 20%, even as one top GOP lawmaker pushed back against Democratic Gov. Kelly’s call for a statewide mask mandate to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas on Monday reported new seven-day records for new coronavirus cases and COVID-19-related hospitalizations as Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly prepared to meet with the Republican-controlled Legislature’s leaders following her call for a statewide mask mandate.

The state averaged 815 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases for the seven days ending Monday, the first time the figure exceeded 800 cases since the pandemic reached Kansas in March. The record, based on state Department of Health and Environment data, was 6.2% higher than previous high of 768 cases a day for the seven days ending Friday.

The state also averaged 32 new COVID-19-related hospitalizations for the seven days ending Monday. The previous high was 31 for the seven days ending Friday.

Kelly planned to meet with legislative leaders Tuesday by Zoom. She said last week that she wanted a bipartisan, statewide mask mandate. Kelly issued a statewide mandate July 2, but state law allowed most counties to opt out.

The state health department said Kansas had 2,446 new coronavirus cases since Friday, bringing the total to 78,676. There were 62 additional hospitalizations, bringing the total to 3,646.

The state reported only one new COVID-19-related death, for a pandemic total of 976.

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