Gov. Laura Kelly urges Kansans to get flu shots amid concerns of overburdening hospitals

gov laura kelly sept 14 press conference
Posted at 5:12 PM, Sep 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 18:12:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is urging Kansans to get their flu shots as state leaders discuss increasing COVID-19 testing in the state.

Kelly said she knows residents are ready to return to a sense of normalcy.

“We are all anxious to get back to normal — back to work as it once was, back to school as it once was, back to celebrating and mourning as we used to do — but we've got to deal with the reality in which we live, put politics aside and do everything necessary to protect our communities,” Kelly said.

Part of that protection comes in the form of flu shots, the governor said.

“Symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar. So do yourself healthcare system a favor and get a flu shot. That way we can rule out the flu, give a person becomes ill,” Kelly said.

She said hospital capacity is a growing concern as flu season approaches.

“We cannot overburden our hospitals and risk those with COVID-19 not having access to health care when they need it most,” Kelly said.

The governor said the state's Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce is discussing an increase in testing this week, which would use more CARES Act funding to expand testing to asymptomatic individuals as well as those who are showing signs of COVID-19.

Kelly said she doesn't anticipate another statewide shutdown in Kansas' future.

“Unless there's some mushroom cloud of coronavirus that overwhelms the state of Kansas, I don't see us ever needing to go back to a statewide stay at home business closure,” Kelly said.

She commended the state's businesses on their efforts to open safely.

Johnson County, KS
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