Kansas releases new numbers on coronavirus

The state of Kansas was reporting 5,734 cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, with 144 deaths.   Cases have been reported in 82 counties.

There have been 571 cases that have been hospitalized, and there were 36,380 negative tests from KDHE and private labs.

Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said the state is encouraging health care providers to test anyone who is symptomatic.   Dr. Norman said the list of symptoms is expanding and there have been recent cases where people have lost their sense of taste or smell.

Dr. Norman says the state is investigating 75 clusters of coronavirus activity.   He said it will be important in the coming weeks to look at trends, rather than day-to-day increases in numbers.

Governor Laura Kelly, speaking at a news conference Wednesday, expressed thanks to the people of Kansas for following the stay-at-home guidelines.   She is urging people to continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, along with limiting travel to essential trips.  She said an estimated 6 to 18 percent of those infected with the virus can carry it without developing symptoms and some can be infected for 14 days before showing symptoms, so it is important to continue efforts to limit the spread of the virus.  She said, “We simply cannot let our guard down.  Until a vaccine is developed and readily available, COVID-19 will be an ongoing threat.”

The governor said the state will continue to watch the spread of the disease and other factors before moving into the next phase of her economic recovery plan, which is scheduled to begin May 18th.   She said the recovery will depend on science and data.