Kansas schools need mental health resources and continued precautions such as masking and testing, according to Wednesday’s Safer Classrooms Workgroup meeting.
Marci Nielsen, chief COVID-19 coordination adviser to Gov. Laura Kelly, told the group the state’s daily COVID-19 cases have declined through October, along with testing and vaccinations. As of Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reports 426,923 total COVID-19 cases, 14,521 hospitalizations and 6,185 statewide deaths.
Through participation in KDHE’s provided school-based COVID-19 testing, Nielsen said, 595 positive cases have been reported across 102 districts. Active outbreaks decreased from last week’s total of 84 to 56 this week, and Nielsen said there were significantly fewer positive students in schools with mask mandates. The vaccination rate for Kansas youth currently trails the national rate by 7 percentage points, but pending vaccine approval for 5- to 11-year-olds could help those numbers rise, she said.