Official suggests Kansas blew chance for virus respite

Recent surge in new cases attributed to Memorial Day gatherings and May 26 lifting of statewide restrictions on businesses and gatherings.

By

State News

July 2, 2020 - 10:00 AM

Dr. Lee Norman of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ top public health official predicted Wednesday that the state will face steeper increases in coronavirus cases and suggested that it blew its chance for a summer respite from the pandemic by reopening its economy too quickly.

Dr. Lee Norman, the top administrator at the state Department of Health and Environment, blamed a recent surge in new confirmed cases on gatherings over the long Memorial Day weekend and the May 26 lifting of statewide restrictions on businesses and gatherings. He said Kansas remains struck in its first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’d have to have some calm before the next wave, and we’re not there or anywhere close to it,” Norman said after a Statehouse news conference during which he described Kansas as being “in the middle of a bad convergence.”

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