Moran, KU Health officials encourage social distancing with virtual news conference

Published: Mar. 16, 2020 at 8:59 PM CDT
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Sen. Jerry Moran says he is working to ensure hospitals are able to meet the needs of a potential surge in patients due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Republican from Kansas held a 'virtual' news conference Monday with leaders from University of Kansas Health Systems. The group answered questions reporters submitted by email.

KU Health says all hospitals have plans to handle sudden spikes in patient numbers, but avoiding large gatherings will be crucial in slowing the spread

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer for University of Kansas Health System, said limiting gathering in large groups is the socially responsible thing to do.

"The smaller the better," he said. "That's what flattens the curve. That's what keeps people out of the hospital."

Moran said there is a federal stockpile of ventilators, and he is seeking answers as to how they would get to Kansas hospitals, should they be needed.

Moran also is working on legislation to ease any financial hardships hospitals might encounter responding to the outbreak.