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‘We cannot let our guard down’: KDHE, governor give update on coronavirus in Kansas

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Two infants are among the Kansans who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Dr. Lee Norman, the secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said one of the babies is two months old, the other is four months old. He said they both have active COVID-19 infection.

“So again, we cannot let our guard down, and we cannot make any assumptions that children are somehow, get off scot-free from this. They don’t,” said Norman.

He also said two young Kansans are hospitalized at Children’s Mercy Hospital with multi system inflammatory syndrome which Norman says is caused by COVID-19.

“While it has been said that COVID-19 rarely impacts children, there is much that we do not know yet about this virus and this is one of those examples,” he said.

As of Friday at noon, 10,393 Kansans have tested positive for COVID-19. The number of Kansas deaths linked to it increased by 10 since Wednesday. The new total is 232.

Governor Laura Kelly also spoke at the news conference.

She thanked the Kansas Legislature for passing compromise legislation to continue the state’s COVID-19 emergency response. The bill passed the House and Senate during a special session this week.

Kelly says she will sign it when it gets to her desk.

“It’s not perfect, but I do consider the bill an improvement from the original proposals sent to my desk a few weeks ago,” she said.

The governor said she is concerned that because of how things happened, she was forced to lift the prohibition on mortgage foreclosures and evictions.

Kelly said the Kansas Department of Labor has been able to more consistently fulfill unemployment claims. She said KDOL has processed close to $1 billion in unemployment benefits.

“We’re optimistic that this combined with our transition back to a fully functioning economy will help ensure Kansans get the resources they need,” she said.

Kelly said she knows that the virus has been brutal for homeowners and renter alike.

“For this reason, I’ve asked our recovery office team to explore the establishment of an emergency rental and home mortgage assistance program to financially support Kansas families who continue to struggle,” said the governor.

She said the SPARK task force will review her request and determine the most administratiely feasible option for the state.

Kelly also commented again on the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the protests that has sparked across the nation.

She asked that people who go to protests wear masks, avoid contact as much as possible, and get tested for COVID-19.

“This is a profound moment of cultural and societal reckoning,” said Kelly. “Please take these precautions seriously. I need you and your neighbors to stay alive and healthy, so that you can help us fix the problems that spurred this moment, in the first place.”

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