Governor Kelly, Health Secretary Lee Norman give state update on coronavirus

Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly is expected to give her daily coronavirus update Wednesday afternoon, alongside Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman.

Wednesday morning, the state reported 2,211 positive cases of coronavirus and 110 deaths.

Gov. Kelly announced she signed executive order 20-26 which makes licensing easier for healthcare workers during this time with the following measures:

  • Waives physician supervision requirement
  • Permits RN and practical nurses to provide medical services even if their license has expired in the last year.
  • Medical students can volunteer to help where needed
  • Health care providers will be covered by liability protections 
  • Encourages legislature to find ways that health care providers can better serve patients during this time.

Kelly said reopening the Kansas economy will be a gradual process, not a flip of the switch. President Trump’s reopening plan says states cannot reopen until the number of coronavirus cases goes down and testing becomes more available. Kelly said the state agrees and that Kansas isn’t where the state needs to be to reopen.

Kelly said she’s been and will continue to hold meetings with business owners, employee, healthcare workers, etc. to get their input on how the state should reopen and when.

Dr. Norman said in the news conference that testing criteria has been broadened and that the health department has found that cases do not necessarily have a fever or cough.

He said he expects the state will see a jump in cases over the next few days because he believes we are in the peak right now. This is also due to an increased number of testing. The more testing there is, the more positive cases there will be.

Norman said the health department is “quite certain” that there will be a second wave of coronavirus this fall and winter. Broader testing will help target problem areas. But as of right now, Norman said we will see case numbers going down despite more testing. He said we are nearing a plateau point will, hopefully, then start to go down.

Three-thousand 3D printed testing swabs have been delivered, according to Norman. He said 10,000 more will be delivered by dentists and that 3D printers will soon get to KDHE so they can print their own swabs.

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