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Kansas sees another surge in COVID cases from delta variant

July 2, 2021 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas experienced another surge in new COVID-19 cases from the faster-spreading delta variant heading into the Fourth of July holiday weekend, prompting state officials to renew their calls for people to get vaccinated.

The state Department of Health and Environment reported Friday that another 75 delta variant cases had been identified in Kansas since Wednesday, an increase of 26.5% to 358. Since Monday, the number of delta variant cases has grown by 136, or 61%.

That’s still a small fraction of the 318,515 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases the state reported as of Friday, but genetic testing is required to identify a variant.

Kansas has seen its total new COVID-19 cases start to rise again after bottoming out at an average of 96 a day for the seven days ending June 23. The average was 173 a day for the seven days ending Friday — about 80% higher.

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“This is a fast-spreading variant that spreads quickly in communities that have the lowest vaccination rates,” said Dr. Lee Norman, the state health department’s top administrator.

The department reported Friday that 39% of the state’s 2.9 million residents were fully vaccinated and 44.4% had received at least one of two required shots.