Gov. Kelly and Dr. Lee Norman assure Kansans that they are doing well in the face of COVID-19

Published: Jun. 1, 2020 at 1:11 PM CDT
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Governor Laura Kelly held a COVID-19 press conference Monday, June 1, and was joined by Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman.

Currently Kansas is in the midst of reopening its economy while the state case number climbs past 10,000. Governor Kelly says that the SPARK Taskforce will meet for the first-time next week as they discuss how best to safely reopen Kansas.

Among the SPARK Taskforce’s docket will be how to distribute the first round of CARES Act funds as well as how to keep it transparent while ensuring quick and accountable delivery.

Dr. Norman confirmed that Kansas is currently sitting at 10,011 positive cases of COVID-19, however he is still optimistic on what the future holds. He says that Kansas is doing well when looking specifically at hospitalization and death rates in the state as well as transmission of the disease.

While there was an increase of nine deaths and 292 cases over the weekend, the most infectious counties are neither those with the highest population or those that house meatpacking facilities showing that Kansans efforts to stop the spread of the virus aren’t going unnoticed. However, there are still 13 counties in the state that are not demonstrating improvement.

Dr. Norman also says there is a little relief by the way of medicine as well. Kansas has not reached the end of the second shipment of Remdesivir, but has received a third shipment carrying 14 cases of the drug.

Governor Kelly also spoke briefly about the special session she called for that will be held on Wednesday, June 3. The session will discuss the bill legislature tried to introduce last week to help the state recover economically from the coronavirus pandemic. She says while their original bill did have sensible provisions there were too many other things problems with it, which is why she decided to veto it and ask for legislation to rewrite the bill and present it Wednesday.

Lastly Governor Kelly acknowledged the great pain being felt across the country with the murders of George Floyd, Brionna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. She wanted to acknowledge that the protests are an effect of hundreds of years of systematic oppression and not just police brutality.

“I pledge to Kansans and Kansans of color that I will not allow these injustices to feed into the next media cycle,” says Governor Kelly. “We’re going to have these tough conversations in our state, were going confront these painful issues and were finally going to treat this like lives depend on it because they do.”

She wants Kansans to be aware that her and her team are giving this matter their full attention. She says that it is time for elected leaders to understand that Kansas has failed at giving this issue the attention it deserves.

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