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Dr. Norman discusses KDHE outbreak reporting

(AP Photo/John Hanna)
(AP Photo/John Hanna)(John Hanna | AP)
Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 2:09 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment is currently reevaluating the way it reports COVID-19 outbreaks.

At a news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 16, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman said the state of Kansas has seen 52 new deaths related to COVID-19 since its Monday report and over 900 new cases.

Dr. Norman said when the KDHE gets new reports of a COVID-19 related death, notifications are made by local health departments and primary care providers and then marked into its surveillance system Epitracks. He said when the death certificate has been received a cause of death is determined and entered into Epitracks and updates COVID-19 related deaths that have not already been entered.

According to Dr. Norman, numbers occasionally lag due to slow test results, autopsies and reports from doctors.

Compared to the rest of the nation, Dr. Norman said Kansas has the 8th highest new case developments in the nation, as well as the 8th highest positive test results in the nation. He said Kansas is marked red on new case developments and yellow for percent of positive tests.

According to Dr. Norman, the only category that is green for Kansas is the lab testing category. He said Perkin Elmer, the state’s testing company, recently ranked number one in a national study of testing sites for being able to get residents their tests in a timely fashion.

Dr. Norman said, as for outbreak reporting, residents are appreciative of the transparency allowing them to make informed decisions for their health, but the department is now reassessing its process. He said it is shooting for showing what is most representative of the current situation.

Dr. Norman assured Kansans that the KDHE wants transparency so Kansans are able to make the best decisions for their health.

Sept. 16, 2 p.m.

Dr. Lee Norman hosts COVID-19 update

Dr. Lee Norman of the KDHE will hold a news conference updating the State of Kansas on its COVID-19 recovery efforts.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says KDHE Secretary, Dr. Lee Norman, will hold a news conference at 4 p.m. on Wednesday regarding Kansas' COVID-19 recovery efforts.

If you’re not able to see the video player, click here, or watch on our Facebook page.

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