Governor Orders Flags Lowered As Kansas Tops 6K Covid Deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday ordered flags throughout the state to be flown at half-staff to honor COVID-19 victims as Kansas exceeded 6,000 reported deaths.

Kelly's order applied immediately and directed that flags remain lowered until sunset Wednesday. The governor has issued such an order every time Kansas reports another 1,000 COVID-19 deaths.

The state averaged 15 additional reported COVID-19 deaths a day for the seven days ending Monday, according to Kansas Department of Health and Environment data. The number of reported deaths rose 43 since Friday, making the total 6,024.

The state also reported an average of 1,012 new cases and 37 additional hospitalizations a day for the seven days ending Monday. The health department has now reported more than 406,000 cases and 13,700 hospitalizations since early March 2020.

A surge of new COVID-19 cases tied to the faster-spreading delta variant has continued for three months. Delta variant cases have been confirmed in 99 of the state's 105 counties.

Kansas has lagged behind the nation in getting its residents vaccinated against COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that 50.8% of the state’s 2.9 million residents had been fully vaccinated, compared with 55.3% of the U.S.