Kelly objects to ‘patchwork’ virus response

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday that Kansas should stop giving local officials the final say over the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic because experience has shown “a patchwork approach” does not work.

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December 28, 2020 - 8:58 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday that Kansas should stop giving local officials the final say over the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic because experience has shown “a patchwork approach” does not work.

Kelly made the comments during an Associated Press interview a day after she and her top health administrator argued that Kansas is now controlling the spread of COVID-19 despite its high case numbers. They argued that the state is seeing the benefits of a “unified” state strategy to boost testing and an increased willingness by the state’s 105 counties to require people to wear masks, which she has pushed for months.

The governor also said she would like legislators to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to avoid providing information that would allow health officials to trace their close contacts. The law was enacted to protect people’s privacy, but health officials said it hinders disease tracking.

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