TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly applied maximum pressure Thursday to legislative leaders who will decide whether to extend the emergency declaration for COVID-19, saying the pandemic in Kansas is worse now than at previous peaks and millions of dollars in federal aid hang in the balance.
Kelly also said she talked with Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, who encouraged the state to embrace mitigation efforts to slow the impact of the virus or risk “out of control” consequences.
Kansas is firmly rooted in the “red zone” monitored by federal officials with positive rates from tests in the state hovering close to 10%. The state has recorded 495 deaths from the coronavirus, including 37 in the past week.