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CDC director: Wear a mask Kansas

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wear a mask and we’ll get back to the normal. It’s the message from the director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to Kansans.

Dr. Robert Redfield sat down with KSN’s Bret Buganski to show you why he says controlling the coronavirus pandemic is up to you.

“If we all did this, along with social distancing, hand washing, and being smart about our gatherings,” said Redfield, while holding up a mask during our Zoom interview Thursday.

With no vaccine available and Kansas approaching 30,000 known coronavirus cases, Redfield called the mask the most powerful weapon to beat it. He says Kansans have to continue to practice good hand washing, social distancing, as well as avoiding crowded areas.

“I need them to become part of the solution,” he said.

We asked him, “Some parts of Kansas, where there is no mask mandate, some are even saying to this day that the coronavirus is a hoax, how do you get them motivated to wear a mask?”

“I think I have to defer to local jurisdictions in knowing how best to motivate their people,” said Redfield. “To be able to keep our businesses open, get our schools reopened, get our places of worship reopened, get sports back, but the problem is we need all Americans to do this, we don’t need half of Americans, or 70% of Americans.”

It comes as the state’s top doctor, Dr. Lee Norman said 15 of the Kansas counties that adopted a mask mandate are seeing new cases go down, while the rest are seeing cases stay flat.

(Courtesy KDHE)

There’s divide over when Kansas schools should go back to in-person learning. And there are questions about safety after one school in Georgia went back to in-person learning. Images from the school appear to show many students not wearing masks and not practicing social distancing. The principal of that high school announced some members of the football team tested positive for COVID-19.

“We put out these guidelines for a reason, to provide important guidance to how to open schools safely and sensibly,” said Redfield.

We asked, “For some of these school districts here in Kansas that are deciding to go to in-person learning, where maybe there isn’t a mask mandate, would you be comfortable putting your
grandkids in that setting?”

“I want to see that the schools are adhering to the guidelines that we put out,” said Redfield.

KSN Digital Extra: Full interview with Dr. Robert Redfield, CDC director

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