A warning from KDHE Secretary Norman ahead of July 4th weekend

Capitol Bureau

(AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Coronavirus cases in Kansas, and across the United States, are on the rise. Kansas’ top doctor, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman, says many of the new cases are coming from large gatherings of people.

Kansas is currently in phase 3 of Governor Kelly’s Ad Astra Plan to reopen the state, though the plan is merely a recommendation. Under phase 3, gatherings of up to 45 people are permitted, but social distancing is still encouraged. But Secretary Norman said the numbers show, that isn’t enough.

“We have got to limit the number of mass gatherings. People have gone crazy, counties have gone crazy and it is not working,” he said. “We have over 2,000 cases from last week Monday to this week Monday morning. That’s over a months worth of cases.”

Dr. Norman urges Kansans to avoid large gatherings of people.

“It can be family gatherings, it can be 4th of July, it can be funerals, it can be church services, it can be – for darn sure – athletic events, rodeos, music festivals, county fairs, etcetera,” listed Norman.

If you are planning to attend a large gathering, Norman said it’s extremely important to wear a face mask and practice social distancing.

“It is within our ability to control this,” added Norman. “We have to do better.”

Kansas is not the only state with COVID numbers increasing, five states are currently on the KDHE travel restriction list. Currently, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina are all on the list. All cruise ship and international travel is also listed.

Any person entering Kansas from one of the listed locations is strongly recommended to quarantine for 14 days. Secretary Norman explained the list is not random, if a state or country has three times the rate of new cases compared to Kansas, it is added to the list.

“It’s not a beauty contest, these are just numbers, and we’re going to stick by them and the reason is we don’t want to import cases and put Kansans at risk,” said Norman.

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