Coming weeks crucial, state’s top health official warns

Lee Norman, KDHE secretary, said extra precautions should be taken as the state slowly reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic. He was harshly critical of revelers who traveled en masse to the Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend.

By

State News

May 28, 2020 - 10:06 AM

Crowds of people gather at Coconuts Caribbean Beach Bar & Grill in Gravois Mills, Missouri Sunday afternoon, May 24, 2020. Several beach bars along Lake of the Ozarks were packed with party-goers during the Memorial Day weekend. Photo by Shelly Yang / Kansas City Star / TNS
Dr. Lee Norman

The next few weeks will prove vitally important to how fast or slow COVID-19 spreads throughout Kansas, the state’s top health official said Wednesday.

Days after photos and videos from Lake of the Ozarks in central Missouri showed packed pools and beaches over the Memorial Day weekend, Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said local officials in the state need to closely monitor their hospital bed capacity over the next two to three weeks.

“I was extremely disappointed and frustrated by the photos and videos we saw,” Norman said. “If we see the conduct like we saw at Lake of the Ozarks, we’re going to see an increase, and perhaps a startling increase, in the number of cases.”

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