KDHE releases first active cluster list which includes Reser’s Fine Foods and KNI

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 12:52 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has released its first list of active clusters in the state including at least two locations in Shawnee County.

According to the list, the Kansas Neurological Institute has eight cases, and Reser’s Fine Foods has 45 cases.

The list also includes clusters already reported in Riley County at the Kansas State University, plus in Douglas County at the University of Kansas.

“Once a cluster is considered no longer active, typically once there have been 28 days without the occurrence of new cases, the facility will no longer appear on the named list of active clusters,” it states on the report released by KDHE.

Here is the list of active clusters in the state:

KDHE list of clusters as of Sept. 9th, 2020.
KDHE list of clusters as of Sept. 9th, 2020.(KDHE | WIBW)

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman believes having the state identify and announce active clusters will combat spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

“Some of these entities have not been forth coming. How do I know if there is an outbreak if my school doesn’t choose to divulge that information or is there some place I should be avoiding, how can I know that,” said Norman. “It’s not meant to cause a great deal of heartache in businesses, schools, churches, organizations, it’s meant to provide information so people can make informed choices on how to keep themselves safe.”

Active outbreaks include at least 5 active cases for schools, churches, businesses and organizations. Private businesses will have to have at least 20 active cases.

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.

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