KDHE hopeful COVID-19 spread will slow mid-April

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The total confirmed coronavirus cases in Kansas has reached 202, which is up 34 from Thursday.

Even with the upward trend, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment is hopeful an end is in sight.

“We are going to continue to have more cases until we peak out," said KDHE Secretary Dr. Lee Norman.

He predicts the peak could happen in the next month.

“I think that we’re probably going to see the coronavirus peak out in the state of Kansas probably in the middle of April, maybe as late as the 24th or end of April," said Norman.

He said the state's testing capabilities play a major role in that.

Norman said, “We still don’t have the ability to do widespread population studies because we don’t have the testing necessary to test sick people, well people, people that are around the people that have been sick -- to really understand what the population dynamics look like.”

Through new equipment, he said the number of tests will go up dramatically.

“We’re currently at 175 a day," said Norman, "The new equipment will have us at about 700 per day, up to 1,000.”

Many counties are now under "Stay at Home" orders, Norman stresses the importance of following those guidelines.

"This is not about gaming the system and playing with words to skate around the exceptions and exemptions," said Norman. "It's really about taking it seriously and staying home, staying out of harm's way and keeping people out of the harm that you could cause. I think it's really important that people stay really serious about it."

This all hits close to home for Dr. Norman. On Friday he shared his son living in New York has the virus, but is recovering.

The state also added two new states to the 14-day travel quarantine list, Louisiana and all of Colorado.