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Kansas has seventh lowest person to person transmission rate in nation

(WIBW)
Published: May. 29, 2020 at 3:29 PM CDT
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Kansas reaches 208 deaths today and over 9,500 cases, however Kansas is flattening the curve with an infection ratio of 1:1.

Doctor Lee Norman, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, addressed Kansans today to update the state on COVID-19 related information.

Kansas has reached 9,719 positive cases which is 382 more from Wednesday with three more deaths.

Dr. Norman said, however, that Kansas has the seventh lowest rate of person to person transmission with a score of 0.87. This means that one person is infecting only one other person in the state of Kansas. Dr. Norman says that if the rate stays below 1 then the virus will eventually begin to die out, a huge step in the battle against COVID-19.

“You are your own preparedness,” says Dr. Norman.

The majority of positive tests he said have been related to mass gatherings such as those on Mother’s Day, funerals and even a keg party at a lake. He says that if Kansas is to continue to flatten the curve that residents need to be vigilant at mass gatherings, especially as the state begins to reopen.

Dr. Norman also wanted to address the differences between numbers of deaths between the state and Johns Hopkins. There is a three step process which reports the deaths in Kansas to KDHE that begins when coroners or doctors fill out death certificates.

He says that if a death certificate is not filled out correctly or in a timely manner an investigation has to be opened by each county to determine if it was a COVID-19 related death. After the certificate is filled out it is reported to KDHE where they then enter the data into a tracking device, Epi Track, which is what is used to determine the state numbers.

He says that discrepancies can happen and when this does his team goes back in to reconcile the numbers.

Dr. Norman also wants to urge counties to follow Governor Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan for Reopening Kansas while each county opens up under their own restrictions. He says that the plan has proven to work well and that the pandemic is far from over so vigilance needs to be held.

While the state begins to reopen he also wanted to assure those having a particularly difficult time dealing with mental health during the pandemic that they are heard and resources are available.

“For anyone struggling we see you, we care about you and we understand how difficult this is,” says Dr. Norman. “Thank you for your bravery.”

He urges anyone feeling the impacts of the virus on their mental health to text

741-741

, which is the state’s crisis text line, or call the national suicide prevention line at

800-273-8255

.

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