Lyon County Public Health and Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials confirmed the 10th known death related to COVID-19, Wednesday afternoon, as local hospitalizations saw another noticeable increase.

The patient who died was a white male in his 70s. The cause of death was confirmed Tuesday.

“Our public health team wishes to extend our deepest condolences for the loss of your loved one” Health Officer Renee Hively said in a written statement.

This is the third death related to two ongoing clusters at long term care facilities in Emporia.

Five new cases were reported Wednesday, bringing the county’s total number of active cases to 61. There have been 629 cases reported since March, with 557 recoveries and 10 deaths.

Two additional hospitalizations were listed Wednesday, with eight local patients being treated for COVID-19. On Tuesday, Newman Regional Health confirmed to The Emporia Gazette that it was currently treating six COVID-19 inpatients.

The hospital has six ICU beds, 25 regular beds and 21 staffed beds.

On Wednesday, Kansas health officials reported 14 more COVID-19 deaths since Monday, bringing the state’s toll to 349.

KDHE said the number of reported 698 new cases since Monday, bringing the state’s total to 26,870. The number of cases is thought to be far higher because people can be infected without feeling sick and because of a lack of testing.

Despite the mounting cases and deaths, Gov. Laura Kelly will be unable to impose statewide restrictions on businesses or mass gatherings until Sept. 15 under a new state law.

Even if the Democratic governor and the Republicans-dominated Legislature could agree on a course of action, a provision in the hastily passed measure makes state government largely powerless to order changes in business practices or limit crowd sizes for seven more weeks.

That provision gives counties and cities near-total power until mid-September to decide whether to limit businesses or gatherings. Most counties have already opted out of the governor’s mask mandate.

(6) comments

Hollowed Ground

Mask, who needs a mask? We Republican fornicators don't need no stinkin' mask!

jean b

I think Governor Kelly is doing the very best she can do in keeping Kansans safe from covid19. She has issued several mandates to keep Kansans safe from the virus and each time the Republicans in charge of the state slap together some lame-brained law to keep make sure her mandates have no force. I know that if a Republican were governor not 1 thing would be done to try to keep us safe. They would be falling all over themselves to see how quickly all businesses and schools could be opened to make sure everyone gets covid19, not being smart enough to realize once everyone gets it there will be no one to work at their businesses or to buy their products. This virus is awful, but to act like it's nothing is just dumb. And expecting our children, and the teachers, to go back to school just like it is all so safe, when the school board meets over ZOOM, is pathetic. And I'm a registered Republican.

Hollowed Ground

Note our own little goober AG said we don't have to follow Kelly's mask orders. He certainly fits your definition of dumb, and Herman certainly got the message. Funny how these Republican clowns don't bother consulting with Mr. Corona before making decisions involving him. Everywhere, everywhere they fail to do that the pattern repeats. Definition of an idiot anyone?


So if I’m reading this right, in 7 more weeks the power shifts from Local Counties back to the Governor. Is that right?


Good heavens, let us hope not!  In addition to coming in a shocking last in the nation among governors when it came to obtaining Covid-19 testing supplies, Kelly's Labor Secretary was so incompetent she failed to distribute unemployment benefits on a timely basis to Kansans who were unemployed during the coronavirus pandemic, then she distributed too much to them, and then she clawed the overdistribution back without their knowledge, overdrafting the individuals' bank accounts in the process. Kelly's executive order with respect to churches was so badly drafted that, when churches sued as a result, she had to settle with them. And her recent decision to delay school openings in the state was apparently made without even consulting school district superintendents. The worst thing, however, has been her complete absence of leadership when it comes to protecting nursing home residents -- and this despite the fact that Kansas was the second state in the nation to experience Covid-related deaths in a long-term care facility. Kelly may have done a fine job as director of the Kansas Recreation and Parks Association, but leading the State of Kansas isn't recreation; it's serious work. The lives of Kansans are literally at stake and competency has never counted more, yet time after time Kelly has responded like a Keystone Cop and demonstrated that she is nowhere near up to the task. It's extremely inefficient and difficult for municipalities to have to go it alone, but that's what has to be done when there is incompetency at the top. And I'm a registered Democrat.

Hollowed Ground

Doesn't really matter where the power is, since many don't follow the orders anyway. Just stay away from the maskless, as far as you can.

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