KDHE Sec. Norman ‘real concerned’ about Memorial Day weekend

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A recent cluster of coronavirus has the attention of the state’s top doctor.

At least 10 people have been infected with coronavirus as a result of a gathering at Lake Perry in Jefferson County at the beginning of the month. At least 20 people have been quarantined because of it. Close contact with each other is being blamed.

“I’m not pleased that people show lousy judgement, and it does upset me,” Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said.

Now Memorial Day weekend is making Norman worried about how people will act.

It’s normally the unofficial kickoff to summer with people outside at lakes, parks, and parties. Norman stressed that people need to follow guidelines this weekend.

“It isn’t something we make a game out of. I can tell you those people that are ill from Lake Perry are not thinking it’s a game anymore to skirt around regulations. It’s a bad idea,” Norman said. “It does bother me that people look at rules and say, how can I wiggle myself around them, or just flaunt it and say, heck with them, I’m not going to pay attention to it, I’m going to do what I want to do. That’s not a strategy for success.”

Norman said being outside lessens the chance for the virus to spread as easily, but that doesn’t mean being in a big group outside is smart.

“I haven’t worried about a weekend this much since Easter weekend, because I knew there’d be lots of gatherings as well, so real concerned about it. We’re hoping that people will take it seriously,” Norman said. “It does befuddle me that people are so willing to take that kind of risk.”

Gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed this weekend. The current Phase 1.5 is scheduled to last until June 1, then up to 30 people can be allowed at a gathering.

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