KDHE credits COVID mitigations for keeping Kansas students healthy


TOPEKA (KSNT) – State health officials are crediting testing, vaccines, and masking for keeping Kansas students healthy.

During Wednesday’s Safer Classrooms Workgroup meeting, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said there are 56 active COVID-19 clusters connected to 546 cases. That number is down from 68 active outbreaks in Kansas schools a week ago, despite 10 new school clusters statewide this week.

According to KDHE data, of those outbreaks from a week ago, 37% were at districts with mask requirements. Outbreaks at schools with no mask mandate had more than triple the number of cases.

“Of the three mitigation criteria that we look at vaccinations, testing, and masking, voluntary testing has met with less resistance than the other two,” Kansas Commissioner of Education Dr. Randy Watson said. “I don’t know if you see that in your practice, not saying there’s not with some resistance, but we have less resistance to voluntary testing because people want to be in school and they want to participate in those activities.”

KDHE said kids accounted for less of the state’s COVID cases this past week, but kids remain at the highest risk for getting it. The governor’s Safer Classrooms Workgroup is meeting again Thursday to speak with local superintendents about COVID mitigations.

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