Kansas removes 3 states from quarantine list as growth rate surges in state

It's not 'cause for celebration,' Norman says
Posted at 1:40 PM, Jul 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-14 14:40:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas has removed three states from its quarantine list, though the state’s top health official warns their removal "isn’t cause for celebration" as the growth rate of the coronavirus continues to surge in Kansas.

Those traveling from Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina are no longer required to complete a 14-day quarantine when entering or returning to Kansas, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said on Tuesday.

The department determines which states to add or remove from the quarantine list by looking at new cases over a two-week period, adjusting for population size and then comparing with the rate of growth in Kansas.

States with rates three times or higher than that of Kansas are then added to the quarantine list.

Over the last several weeks, new COVID-19 cases have continued to spike in Kansas. For the first time since the pandemic began, the state reported an increase of more than 1,000 new cases on Monday.

“The removal of states from our list isn’t cause for celebration,” Dr. Lee Norman, KDHE secretary, said in a news release. “We base our list on new case rates by population size and unfortunately, Kansas’ numbers are increasing significantly and our cases by population base have approached, even surpassed the states we had on our list. We must do better, Kansas.”

Kansas on Tuesday also modified its quarantine list related to international travel, restricting the mandatory quarantine only to countries under a Level 3 Travel Health Notice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those traveling from states or countries on the list must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival into the state.

Currently, this list includes those who traveled:

  • To Florida on or after June 29;
  • To Arizona on or after June 17;
  • On a cruise ship or river cruise on or after March 15;
  • To Bahrain or French Guiana on or after July 14;
  • To countries with a CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice, including China, Iran, European Schengen area, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

People from those locations can still travel through Kansas, though the state recommends making limited stops, wearing a mask at rest stops or when getting gas, and maintaining a 6-foot distance from others.