TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — In just over one week, Kansas has recorded more than 1500 new coronavirus cases and 100 new deaths. While the large increase in deaths may be due to the, at times, lengthy process to have a death officially marked as covid-caused, Governor Laura Kelly says the numbers are still concerning.
At her Monday afternoon press conference, the governor said she is very concerned about Kansas. While she admits there hasn’t been a recent spike in coronavirus cases, she says the numbers are too high. The additional 100 deaths now puts Kansas at 600 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
“Weeks ago, I stood here at my regular weekly briefing and said that Kansas was at a make it or break it moment in our virus mitigation efforts,” said the governor. “Looking at the case numbers from last week, it does not seem like we made it.”
Governor Kelly is placing some of the blame on state lawmakers. In June, the legislature passed a massive coronavirus bill, that was signed by Governor Kelly. Under the bill, the governor is stripped of her power to impose statewide mandates. Those decisions are left to each county to decide.
Governor Kelly pointed to 34 other states that have a statewide mask mandate, whereas Kansas has a “patchwork” of regulations.
“Because we failed to implement a coherent, coordinated mask policy, because we have taken an ineffective patchwork approach to our covid-19 response, cases and deaths continue to rise,” she added.
The governor said she doesn’t plan on attempting to issue a new mask mandate or on calling lawmakers back to renegotiate her powers. But she is urging Kansans to wear masks when in public.
For the latest updates on COVID-19 cases in Kansas, click here.