Gov. Kelly holds Labor Day briefing on COVID-19

(AP Photo/John Hanna)
(AP Photo/John Hanna)(John Hanna | AP)
Published: Sep. 7, 2020 at 1:09 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW/KWCH) - Beginning Wednesday, the State of Kansas will begin releasing the names and locations of active clusters. Gov. Kelly said on Monday during a briefing that the criteria will include active clusters of five or more confirmed cases and names of private businesses if there are more than 20 cases related to a specific location. This comes as the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported nearly 1,700 more cases of COVID-19 and four more deaths.

“By sharing outbreak locations Kansas will be better informed about the threat of COVID-19 in their communities and better prepared to mitigate the spread,” said the governor.

There are currently 181 active clusters in Kansas which account for 5,177 of the state’s 46,914 COVID-19.

Gov. Kelly put the numbers into perspective comparing the total COVID-19 cases statewide to the population of Salina or all of Sumner County twice over. She said the 2,441 hospitalizations are comparative to every person living in Hoisington or Ness County being hospitalized. Lastly, the governor said the state’s 485 COVID-19 deaths were concentrated in one area, the entire town of Argonia would be gone.

Several Kansas school districts will resume classes for the 2020-21 school year on Tuesday and many have already begun. Along with other frontline workers, Gov. Kelly recognized them on what she called this unusual Labor Day.

“Teachers, I know this year is already proving to be very different and has presented many challenges for you and your students. Please know that my administration is behind your every step of the way,” she said.

When asked about the possibility of a vaccine this fall, the governor said a team is primarily in place to make sure that once the state receives the vaccine it will be distributed on a local level. The CDC is developing guidelines as to who will get the vaccine first including frontline workers, the elderly population and other vulnerable populations. Gov. Kelly said she hopes manufacturing and distribution will be ramped up to get the vaccine distributed widely.

“We’ve always had folks who are reluctant to vaccinate, we’ll continue to have that. But I think by in large, most people if it is vetted correctly and proven to be efficacious, it’s safe, I fully expect that Kansans will react to this as they do every other vaccine that they need to take and they need to have their children take in order to protect them from disease,” said the governor.

Gov. Kelly Labor Day COVID-19 News Conference

LIVE: Governor Laura Kelly will hold her weekly COVID-19 news conference as many take the day off for Labor Day.

Posted by WIBW on Monday, September 7, 2020

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