At her October 28 press conference, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly said 500 people died of COVID in a little more than the last six weeks, but data from her administration show that was another false claim.  A Kansas Department of Health and Environment chart examined over the weekend tallied 717 deaths six weeks prior on September 14 and 1,021 deaths on October 28; that’s an increase of 304 deaths, not 500.

Just as she misled Kansans in September, she is counting deaths as having occurred when they are reported by KDHE rather than when they actually occurred.  KDHE routinely ‘reconciles’ death certificates in prior months; the Sentinel’s tracking, for example, shows KDHE added four deaths to April, nine more in May, three in June, 21 in July, and 75 for August between September 14 and October 30.

KDHE updates the data on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

While the number of deaths attributed to COVID has increased, the survival improved to 98.8% in Kansas overall.  Almost half of the 1,029 deaths reported as of October 30 occurred in long-term care facilities; the survival rate outside of those facilities is 99.3%.

Additional COVID statistics are available in the COVID Information Center at Kansas Policy Institute, which owns the Sentinel.

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