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Governor Kelly addresses testing and budget shortfall during COVID-19 press conference

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly held a press conference regarding updates on COVID-19 in Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Health said the number of coronavirus cases in Kansas has increased to 2,025. That’s 39 more than Monday. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment website also said the latest death toll at 107, seven more than Monday.

During her conference, the governor said her goal is to get more testing done quickly so treatment can begin earlier and contact tracing can be more efficient. She said KDHE has released new guidelines on COVID-19 testing. She said now people exhibiting two symptoms will be able to get tested.

“Previously, a person was required to have a temperature and two or more symptoms to get tested. As of today individuals only need to have two symptoms to be tested,” Gov. Laura Kelly said. “They no longer have to have a temperature.”

Gov. Kelly also addressed over a $1 billion budget deficit the state will be facing. The new forecast issued Monday reflects the economic damage associated with the coronavirus pandemic. She said state agencies are asked not to hire anyone new unless it is to help fight coronavirus and to cut spending. The governor will be meeting with her budget director later this week.

As for reopening the economy, the governor said Kansas has not gotten to phase one of the White House Guidelines quite yet, which is making sure the state has enough testing/medical supplies. Kelly says she hopes the phase one reopening plan will be released next week (ahead of the May 3 stay-at-home deadline); however, she says if the state does not receive the necessary testing supplies, the state will not reopen. 

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