Record COVID-19 spike prompts warning

State has at least seven new clusters in the past five days related to bars and restaurants.

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July 7, 2020 - 10:01 AM

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly puts on a mask after a news conference on June 22. Photo by Jim McLean / Kansas News Service / kcur.org

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas set a new record Monday for its worst two-week spike in reported coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, prompting its Democratic governor to issue a stern public warning meant to push the public and local officials in her red state into accepting masks in public as necessary.

Gov. Laura Kelly said the state has seen at least seven new clusters of two or more reported cases in the past five days directly related to bars and restaurants. She recommended during a Statehouse news conference that counties delay lifting their last restrictions on public gatherings.

Kelly issued an order requiring people to wear masks in public and in their workplaces, and it took effect Friday. But Kansas counties can opt out, and some have done so. Commissioners in Shawnee County, home to the state capital of Topeka, adopted a less restrictive mask mandate Monday. 

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