Capacity concerns: Kansas Governor addresses full hospitals and COVID-19 spreading in schools


OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Kansas Governor Laura Kelly will address hospital capacity and other issues COVID-19 is causing across the state.

She will talk about how hospitals are stretched thin while visiting St. Luke’s Hospital in Overland Park late Friday morning.

It comes as many overwhelmed hospitals are transferring critically ill COVID-19 patients hundreds of miles away for treatment. The issue is that large hospitals in urban areas already were full and struggling with staffing problems when the outbreak started. That means they have no free beds to offer to patients from small rural hospitals without ICUs.

In some cases, the larger hospitals also are looking to transfer out some of their own patients to relieve the strain.

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According to the state, hospitals have just 29% of ICU beds that are not full right now. That drops to 23% in hospitals on the Kansas side of the Kansas City metro.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Kansas has risen over the past two weeks from 605 new cases a day on Aug. 3 to 797 new cases per day on Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

School districts are also dealing with the spread of COVID-19 through classrooms.

Thursday the Turner School District implemented a mask mandate after seeing a number of positive cases in its schools. The mandate came a week after the district began school for the new year.

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The Kansas City, Kansas, school district confirmed it had 220 students and staff in quarantine and is seeing 12 to 15 new COVID-19 cases a day.

Gov. Kelly is scheduled to address the issue at 11:30 a.m. we will carry her news conference live on when it happens.


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