TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas counties “shouldn’t feel pressure” to loosen restrictions if they aren’t seeing a decline in new coronavirus cases or new hospitalizations, Gov. Laura Kelly said Monday, with cases increasing faster in the four most populous counties than the state as a whole.
Kelly said she’s feeling hopeful because Kansas is making enough progress in containing the novel coronavirus for most of the state’s 105 counties to loosen restrictions further. Her office and the state Department of Health and Environment are advising local officials that as of Monday they can allow mass gatherings of up to 45 people, permit non-essential travel and open swimming pools and summer camps.
But she and Dr. Lee Norman, the health department’s top administrator, acknowledged there are counties not seeing a drop in new cases and hospitalizations or are likely to see declines halt. Norman listed three of the state’s four most populous counties — Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte — as examples.