Kansas governor says state will be responding to COVID-19 as endemic

The state is shifting “from emergency pandemic response to new normal”
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly(Office of the Governor)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 2:34 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2022 at 3:04 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Today, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced that the state will be shifting “to the next chapter of the COVID-19 response” and “pivoting from emergency pandemic response to endemic normalcy.”

According to a press release from the governor’s office, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment will make changes on April 1 to continue a transition to a “new normal” of life with COVID-19. That will involve dealing with it “similar to how we deal with over recurring diseases like the flu.”

However, the KDHE will continue to make sure Kansas is prepared for potential surges.

The press release continues to state that “KDHE’s endemic plan addresses six key areas that are designed to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all Kansans.” Those are laid out below:

  • “Intervention: KDHE will continue to provide comprehensive guidance, while continuing to offer additional assistance to underserved and/or vulnerable populations.”
  • “Vaccination: KDHE will focus on making sure vulnerable populations have access to the COVID-19 vaccine while existing vaccine providers, including health care providers, pharmacists, hospitals, and LHDs, will continue to serve the broader population.”
  • “Treatment: KDHE will continue to ensure Kansans will be able to receive COVID-19 treatment across the State, as treatment distribution shifts away from public health entities and back to local health care providers.”
  • “Testing: KDHE will continue to support access to free testing across the state through community testing sites, LHDs, and K-12 schools as long as federal funding is available. In addition, the federal government provides direct testing support to Federally Qualified Health Centers and pharmacies around the state. To find a free testing location near you, go to knowbeforeyougoKS.com. KDHE testing support for Long Term Care Facilities will be phased out on May 15, 2022, and testing support for employers ends on June 30, 2022.”
  • “Monitoring: KDHE will continue to monitor data as reported by organizations and facilities across the state to understand the status of COVID-19 and proactively identify at-risk groups. Public reporting will be reduced to once a week.”
  • “Communications: KDHE will continue to provide essential and accessible COVID information to keep Kansans safe and aware of any subsequent changes to COVID-19 response efforts.”