HPPR Health, Education & Welfare


‐state policy‐impact of federal policy‐rural health care delivery‐access & availability


‐state policy‐programs and opportunities‐access & availability


‐state policies‐income levels‐wellness‐quality of life

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The new coronavirus is spreading quickly around the world, including across Kansas, and setting off a range of responses.

The Kansas News Service is boiling down key developments in the state and updating the status regularly here. To read this information in Spanish, go here. This list was last updated at 1:35 p.m. March 30.


 The first confirmed of COVID-19 in the Oklahoma panhandle was announced Sunday. The state has seen a dramatic spike in cases, going from 17 to over 480 in just the past two weeks.  

As the new coronavirus continues to spread in Texas’ two biggest county jails, Gov. Greg Abbott has made it harder for thousands of inmates to get out of local lockups.

Ford Motor Co. plans to build simple medical ventilators at a components plant in Michigan and says it hopes to produce 50,000 of the devices over the next three months. Ventilators have been in short supply as the coronavirus pandemic grows in New York City and other hot spots around the country.

A federal judge has temporarily blocked Texas’ ban on abortions during the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled Monday that state officials can't restrict abortion providers from offering the procedure to their patients.

A World Health Organization official says the evidence so far shows that the virus that causes COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through "respiratory droplets and contact routes" — from coughs and sneezes — and doesn't seem to linger in the air.

More than 1,200 people have now died of the coronavirus in New York, but the worst of the outbreak has yet to arrive, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

Cuomo said the coronavirus is overtaxing the state's health care workers. He asked for the assistance of medical volunteers from other parts of the country as the pandemic continues to devastate New York, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

This map is updated regularly.

Since the new coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China, in December, the infectious respiratory disease COVID-19 has spread rapidly within China and to neighboring countries and beyond.

City of Amarillo

Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson issued the stay-at-home directive Monday morning that takes effect at 11:59 p.m. Monday and will be in effect until at least April 13, according to a press release from the City of Amarillo.

“It is critical that people who are not providing essential work services stay at home while the order is in effect,” Nelson said.

Among the people whose lives are being turned upside down by the coronavirus are many pregnant women.

As they prepare for one of the most intense and emotional experiences of their lives, they face the possibility of delivering babies in hospitals filled with COVID-19 patients — and plans they've made for where to give birth and who will be there with them are often now in question.

The elderly and people with existing respiratory ailments have been highly susceptible, but the new coronavirus is also a problem for people with severe heart disease.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday ratcheted up travel restrictions into Texas during the new coronavirus pandemic, while announcing the state's first pop-up hospital to deal with the crisis. He also said he was moving to "stop the release of dangerous felons" amid the outbreak.

TOPEKA, Kansas — A stay-at-home order for the entire state of Kansas will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 30, Gov. Laura Kelly announced Saturday, making it one of at least 20 states to ask its residents to conduct only essential business. 

The executive order, which will last at least until April 19, is meant to slow the spread of coronavirus. Kansas has surpassed 250 cases of COVID-19 — including two military personnel, one from Fort Riley and one from Fort Leavenworth — and has five deaths. 

Finney County Reports Its First Case Of COVID-19

Mar 28, 2020
Robin Valenzuela

 The Finney County Health Department is reporting its first case of COVID-19.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on Saturday issued a statewide stay-at-home order, in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus, as Kansas is expected to see as many as 900 cases over the next week. According to a press release issued by the governor's office Saturday, the order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and will be in place at least through April 19.

From life along the Texas-Mexico border to the Dallas restaurant scene, coronavirus is affecting Texas.

Officials at Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas say they have canceled 261 abortions since Tuesday, after the state effectively banned the procedure.

LAWRENCE, Kansas — It’s hard for Meg Heriford to tell people they’re no longer allowed to walk into her restaurant. She runs the Ladybird Diner in downtown Lawrence, one of the first restaurants in town to close when coronavirus cases spiked in the U.S.

After one crowded lunch service, Heriford said, she could no longer justify the risk to her staff or customers. The restaurant closed March 14, though she and a small number of staff haven’t stopped working. The Ladybird is offering free bagged lunches for anyone who needs them. Heriford buys the food from her usual distributor, prepares it and leaves it on carts in front of the restaurant.

Stevens County, Kan. Announces First COVID-19 Case

Mar 27, 2020

 Another western Kansas county is reporting its first case of COVID-19. The Stevens County Health Department reported its first case today, involving a man who traveled to an area outside of Stevens County with a high incidence of COVID-19 transmission.

Your Medical Questions About COVID-19 Answered

Mar 27, 2020

From Texas Standard:

The coronavirus pandemic comes at a time when the access to information is greater than ever before. But that also brings greater risk of misinformation. To combat that, Texas Standard is collaborating with Dr. Fred Campbell, an internal medicine physician and associate professor of medicine at the Long School of Medicine at UT Health San Antonio, to answer listener questions about the coronavirus and their health.

Dr. Joe Meier’s hospital in Wilson County has 15 beds, no intensive care unit and one ventilator. Two of his neighboring counties in southeast Kansas have no hospital at all, and another two have no ICU either.

So Meier has a plea to the residents of his region: Stay home.

"It's not a matter of 'if' (COVID-19) is going to hit here,' he said. "It’s a matter of when."


 In order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to Scott County, Kan., the Scott County Health Department issued on Friday a mandatory 14-day home quarantine order for anyone who has traveled to Gove, Doniphan, Atchison, Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Douglas, Johnson, Franklin, Miami, Coffey, Lyon, Morris, Dickinson, and/or Sedgwick counties in Kansas.


 Gove County health officials announced Thursday a COVID-19 case, prompting the Gove County to put into place a stay-at-home order. According to a press release from the Gove County Health Department, the first case in the county involves a young, healthy female who recently traveled out of state. 

COVID-19 Case Update From The City Of Amarillo

Mar 26, 2020
City of Amarillo

There have now been 10 COVID-19 cases reported to the Amarillo Public Health Department (APH).

According to the City of Amarillo’s most recent COVID-19 Report Card, there is currently one case in Potter County and three cases in Randall County. Those are the only two counties under the jurisdiction of Amarillo Public Health Department’s (APH).

Some Texas hospitals are erecting tents, planning to add beds, and eyeing vacated buildings as overflow facilities while they prepare for what may be a deluge of COVID-19 patients.

Texas Changes Its COVID-19 Reporting Method

Mar 26, 2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services, on Tuesday, announced that it is updating its method of reporting COVID‑19 cases in Texas.

In order to provide more timely information, the DSHS daily case count now includes all cases reported publicly by local health departments around the state.

Texas, as of Thursday, reported 1.396 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths. 

People flying into Texas airports from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will be subject to a mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days, or the duration of their stay in Texas, whichever is shorter.

Pexels https://www.pexels.com/photo-license/

A number of eastern Kansas counties have stay-at-home orders to keep the coronavirus from spreading. But some Kansans appear to still be on the move, particularly in western Kansas. 

Unacast, a data company, is able to tell how states and counties are doing with social distancing via cellphone data. Overall, Kansas has a B. But some western counties, including Gray, Ford, Clark, Meade and Seward, received Fs.


UPDATED MARCH  26, 2020 at 10:26 a.m.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday several orders - some statewide and some for only counties reporting COVID-19 cases - aimed at stemming the spread of the virus around the state. One order requiring vulnerable populations to stay home, another limiting social gatherings to fewer than 10 people. 

Oklahoma reported on Thursday 164 confirmed COVID-19 cases  - plus two out-of-state cases - and five deaths.