KDHE secretary: End of emergency order not time to let guard down

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 9:21 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A week from Tuesday, on June 15, the state emergency declaration is set to expire. That means Kansas’ emergency operation center will be gradually standing down. Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman said this does not mean that COVID-19 is magically going away. He said there is still a need for vaccinations, which have dropped off dramatically.

In the first 20 weeks, the state administered about two million COVID-19 vaccine doses in the first 20 weeks. That came out to about 100,000 doses per week. The rate is currently down to about 40 percent of that. Dr. Norman said now is not the time for Kansans to drop their guards.

“The trend is is doing really quite well but we have to remember we still have about 100 or slightly more new cases every day,” Dr. Norman said. “We still have 1-3 deaths every day to put that into perspective, and the deaths are preventable. If we had 1-3 deaths per day from something else preventable, there would be rioting in the streets.”

More than 50 percent of Kansans 12 and older have been fully vaccinated and close to 60 percent have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Norman said the state will not get to 70 percent by July 4 like President Biden had pushed for. He said Kansas will likely fall just short of that mark.”

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