MISSION, Kan. — The coronavirus positivity rate in Kansas has topped 20%, among the highest in the country.
The 14-day rolling average of the positivity rate in Kansas rose from 15.04% on Oct. 7 to 20.64% on Wednesday, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project.
The seven-day average for new cases was a record 757 on Wednesday, with many cases in rural parts of the state.
More than 90 of the state’s 105 counties have opted out of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s mask order. She plans to speak with House and Senate leadership to work toward a bipartisan mask requirement with more teeth.
The state’s top public health official, Dr. Lee Norman, this month blamed the state’s worsening numbers on residents’ refusal to consistently follow public health guidelines for mask-wearing, social distancing and avoiding large public gatherings.
Some lawmakers have resisted imposing statewide restrictions, wanting the decisions left to local officials. Kelly says there will be legislative challenges, but the research is clear: Masks work.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.