Lee Norman

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TOPEKA — Kansas does not plan to send personal information to the federal government about residents who receive coronavirus vaccines, though it has signed a data-use agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hans Pennink / Associated Press/File photo

TOPEKA — Kansas on Wednesday reported spikes in COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations as dozens of nursing homes experienced outbreaks and the state prepared to see that health care workers received the first available vaccines.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

MISSION, Kan. — Kansas added a record-setting 5,418 new coronavirus cases Friday as hospitals warned that staffing was being seriously strained and the state’s top public health official said many local officials "haven’t done anything" to check the surge.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

TOPEKA — Kansas on Wednesday reported its largest seven-day increases in both COVID-19-related deaths and new coronavirus cases.

The state Department of Health and Environment said Kansas had another 67 deaths since only Monday, an increase of 8.7%, to bring the total for the pandemic to 838. The state has reported 115 additional deaths over the past seven days, for an average of 16 a day.

Ann Lo, flickr Creative Commons

BELLE PLAINE — Kansas counties that have mask mandates in place have seen a rapid drop in cases, while counties that only recommend their use have seen no decrease in cases, the state’s top health official said Wednesday.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

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.

Jim McLean / Kansas News Service/File photo

Kansas’ top public health administrator said Thursday that the state has reached the point of being able to test 2% of its population for the novel coronavirus each month and plans to send a mobile lab to communities to help with testing.

Nomin Ujiyediin / Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Contact tracing is a key component of stopping the spread of infectious or sexually transmitted diseases, and has been for years. It’s also the linchpin in Kansas counties’ plans to effectively reopen and isolate cases of the coronavirus.

“The volume has become quite a bit larger than anything we’ve really ever dealt with,” Johnson County epidemiologist Elizabeth Holzschuh said.