KDHE begins naming active COVID-19 clusters, Sedgwick County moves to yellow zone in school gating metrics

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 1:07 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment began naming active COVID-19 clusters Wednesday.

Most places that were named in KDHE’s first report were affiliated with colleges or long-term care facilities.

Active clusters in Sedgwick County included the county jail, Wichita Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing, Sedgwick Plaza, and Legacy on College Hill.

The state considers a location a cluster if they meet certain criteria including an outbreak of five or more cases or a private business with 20 or more cases. Clusters are considered closed when there are no new cases after 28 days.

The Kansas Chamber sent a letter to Gov. Laura Kelly Wednesday asking her to not disclose the name and location of businesses with active clusters saying doing so would publicly shame them. The chamber also questioned the legality of the governor’s policy, citing a Wichita Eagle article.

“Rather than public shaming businesses, some who are barely able to keep their doors open because of COVID-19 related restrictions, the governor and her administration should focus their energies on our state’s economic recovery and what they can do to help businesses stay open. In times of crises, Kansans work together. They don’t tear down others,” said Kansas Chamber President and CEO Alan Cobb in a release.

Also new this week, is the state’s school gating metrics map. Sedgwick County is in the yellow zone meaning the county has seen a less than 10% positive rate for at least two weeks.

This guidance allows schools in the yellow zone to have hybrid classes for middle through high schools and some hybrid and on-site instruction for elementary schools. No high risk activities, such as some sports, are allowed still.

Statewide, 496 COVID-19 cases were reported since Monday with 10 new deaths. There have been 29 hospitalizations since Monday. An additional 4,232 COVID-19 tests have come back negative from state and private labs since Monday.

KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman will hold a press conference Wednesday at 4 p.m.

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