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64,000 coronavirus tests coming, Kansas falls behind on social distancing

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Secretary Lee Norman says Kansas will have up to 64,000 coronavirus tests within the coming weeks. But, other essential items like swabs for the test kits and personal protective equipment, such as masks and gowns for health care workers, are still in short supply.

At a joint press conference with Governor Laura Kelly on Wednesday, Secretary Norman said that Kansas was originally doing well when it came to social distancing. That includes staying home unless absolutely necessary and, when you are out, maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.

However, according to GPS data collected from cell phones, Kansans are beginning to forgo social distancing guidelines. Click here to see an interactive map of counties based on social distancing. Because of this, Secretary Norman fears there will continue to be more cases of the coronavirus in Kansas.

“That will allow us to do very fundamental work, which is pushing analysis upstream, so preventing people from becoming ill from it,” explained Secretary Norman. “Until that time, social distancing is the name of the game.”

Testing everyone will allow people who are not showing symptoms to quarantine if the test comes back positive. This will further help prevent the spread of the virus.

Both Governor Kelly and Secretary Norman are urging Kansans to practice social distancing. Governor Kelly is recommending that churches forgo Easter services this year if they cannot fulfill social distancing guidelines. That means, there can be no more than 10 people at the service and they must remain 6-feet apart at all times.

KDHE is releasing county by county coronavirus information, including the number of positive cases and how many people are being tested in each county. Click here for more information.

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