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"Kansas Health: A Prescription for Change” is an award-winning series about the health and well-being of Kansans. The series, which began in 2000 as a project called: "Kansas Kids: A Prescription for Change," can be heard on KPR and other public and commercial radio stations in Kansas and Missouri.

Finney County Moves into Phase 1.5, Despite Quickly Accelerating Increase in Covid-19 Cases

Finney County, as of Monday, ranked second behind Ford County for the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas.  (Photo by Angie Haflich, High Plains Public Radio)

Finney County residents are now able to get a haircut and work-out in a gym, despite a rapidly accelerating increase in the rate of COVID-19 cases. The Finney County Commission, acting as the county’s board of public health, decided to follow the state’s reopening plan, which allows hair and nail salons, barber shops and tattoo parlors to open for pre-scheduled appointments. Gyms and fitness centers are also allowed to reopen, but without access to locker rooms or group classes.

Kansas Scales Back Next Phase of Reopening, But Will Allow Haircuts and Workouts

(A barber shop in downtown Wichita was closed May 14, as it was not part of Governor Laura Kelly's first wave of businesses that could reopen. It'll be allowed to resume haircuts on Monday, May 18. (Photo by Stephan Bisaha, KMUW)

Kansans won’t have to wait long to return to the gym or the barber shop, but your neighborhood bar and local movie theater will stay closed until further notice.  On Thursday, Governor Laura Kelly modified her reopening plan, citing a still-rising number of coronavirus cases.

In Reversal, Kansas Will Count All Positive COVID Cases, Even Asymptomatic Ones

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly says she will ease stay-at-home orders using evidence-based data, but COVID-19 data used by the state omits many cases. (Photo from Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images and Kaiser Health News)

In a reversal of policy, Kansas leaders will now include asymptomatic COVID-19 cases in their assessments of virus trends as they evaluate when to take further steps to ease stay-at-home orders and other social distancing measures. The state had been omitting these cases from its data, painting an overly optimistic picture of the outbreak in Kansas.

Kansas Needs More Workers Tracing COVID-19 Infections to Stem Resurgence

A drive-through coronavirus testing center at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. (Photo by Nomin Ujiyediin, Kansas News Service)

Kansans are beginning to emerge from the stay-at-home isolation mandated by Governor Laura Kelly due to the coronavirus. State health officials say Kansas will need many more people tracking the path of the coronavirus if it hopes to keep the pandemic under control.


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