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Large increase in COVID-19 cases has officials concerned

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The face mask order came into play during the holiday weekend which has officials concerned that there could be a larger peak of coronavirus cases in the next few weeks. 

“Our numbers are continuing to rise, and it’s alarming,” said Sedgwick County Health Department Director Adrienne Byrne.

It’s been the largest increase of cases in three days for the state of Kansas.

“COVID-19 units are completely full and cannot accept more, so we are going to have to convert other units, at the expense of elective surgeries and taking care of patients with the unusual diseases,” said Wesley Infectious Disease Specialist Doctor Thomas Moore. “Our only chance is to have at least 80% of the population wear a mask in public from here on out.”

The holiday weekend has Mayor Brandon Whipple concerned about another large spike. 

“Pretty good chance that not everyone followed it, and if that’s the case, we could see the numbers just explode in about two weeks from now,” said Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple.

There is not a plan to add more guidelines for the county just yet, but health officials said that could change depending on the outcome from the mask order. 

“It will take us about two incubation periods to really see the effect of that order and so we’re looking at basically 30 days,” said Byrne.

Adrienne Byrne is hopeful the number of cases will lower in the next few weeks. 

“Hoping these interventions make a difference and if people adhere to them then they will,” said Byrne.

She said she’s hiring more workers and waiting for computers to come in to help with the backlog in testing. 

She hoped to have some change by the end of the week.

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