Gov. Kelly, Sec. Norman: Leave politics out of pandemic, stay home as much as possible

(AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Governor Laura Kelly and Kansas Department of Health and Environment Dr. Lee Norman spoke today in a press conference to give updates about the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kelly addressed the rising number of cases and deaths in the state; there were 11 virus-related deaths in one day, a new record for the state. Kelly and Norman agreed that the next two weeks will be tough as the country sees its peak in cases, but urged everyone to stay home as much as possible to flatten the curve. Even when this curve is flattened, Kelly said she doesn't believe the threat of the virus will truly go away until a vaccine is developed.

Kelly addressed the actions taken by Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Republican lawmakers who were protesting her Executive Order to shut down all religious services of ten people or more. Kelly said she appreciated the bipartisanship she saw in dealing with the pandemic and did not want to start making the pandemic about politics.

Dr. Norman said that there are currently twelve clusters of at least 165 positive cases throughout the state; three of those are related to church gatherings. He specifically mentioned a case in Montgomery County where a woman attended a church conference in Wyandotte County, returned home, contracted the virus and unknowingly infected her husband, and the couple passed away. The KDHE is continuing to monitor the situation at the Lansing Correctional Facility, where 11 staff members and 10 inmates have tested positive for the virus. Norman echoed Kelly's pleas for bipartisanship, adding that this is not a matter of politics, but one of common sense. Using common sense, he said, means staying home as much as possible.