Kansas health officials say nearly a quarter of the state’s almost 29,000 Coronavirus cases have been linked to cluster sites

Nearly a quarter of Kansas’ almost 29,000 coronavirus cases have been linked to cluster sites, according to state health officials.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment identified 360 outbreaks which have infected 7,710 people and led to 243 of the state’s 365 COVID-19 deaths, the Kansas City Star reported Wednesday.

Dr. Lee Norman, the state health department’s top administrator, said Tuesday that he expects to see a rise in cases linked to gatherings following the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

The state’s clusters include 132 at private businesses, 95 at long-term care facilities, and 54 from gatherings. Nursing facilities account for most of the deaths related to clusters, at 193. Meatpacking facilities and state prisons also accounted for some clusters.

The state health department on Wednesday reported that Kansas has confirmed 29,717 cases since the outbreak began, an 841 increase since the last update on Monday. The state reported 368 deaths, up three from Monday.

In Chanute, Kansas, 11 school administrators who attended a leadership retreat last week in Branson are in quarantine after six of them tested positive for the virus. Superintendent Kellen Adams said their symptoms range from minor to severe, with one being treated in a hospital ICU.

He defended the retreat, saying it was necessary to discuss details of how to operate schools during a global pandemic.

Chanute schools are scheduled to open to teachers on Aug. 10 and to students on Aug. 24. Adams said the outbreak among administrators has not, so far, changed that.