Those considering going to Lake Perry starting Thursday for the annual ABATE of Kansas motorcycle rally should think twice, according to KDHE Secretary Lee Norman.
Norman said the annual event, which draws thousands of bikers, "an example of where we’re letting our guard down."
"Why are those numbers going up? The reason is we’re not paying enough attention to those things that we know infect," Norman said in a capitol news conference.
Norman compared it to a major motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D. last month, which has resulted in cases in at least 14 states. At least one death has also been linked to the event.
"We anticipate that, even though it is much smaller ... I’m sure we will see outbreaks related to this," he said.
Statewide, KDHE reported 1,328 new cases since Monday, along with 12 new deaths.
Five new clusters were reported in schools but Norman that most of those infected were teachers and administrators conducting meetings before classes began.
"Only one of those cases was a student," he said.
KU Doctor: Convalescent plasma not a "magic bullet"
Convalescent plasma, a potential treatment for COVID-19 authorized by the Food and Drug Administration last month, is not a cure-all for fighting the virus, according to a University of Kansas Health System doctor.
Dr. Dana Hawkinson, director of infection control for the University of Kansas Health System, said Wednesday that there is evidence shows the practice might be useful for patients experiencing mild symptoms.
But it is not guaranteed to be successful, Hawkinson noted.
"There are no statistically significant findings from this but there are signals from this large study that if you have more mild illness ... you would do better," he said.
In a rare move, the FDA announced they would issue emergency authorization allowing doctors to use the plasma donated by patients who survived COVID-19.
The plasma could be then given to those currently infected, with the antibody boost potentially better able to fight off the virus.
President Donald Trump hailed the treatment as having "an incredible rate of success." But top medical officials cautioned that it was too soon to tell whether that was true.
A National Institute of Health panel even rebuked the FDA in a statement Tuesday, calling evidence for the treatment was "insufficient."
"There are currently no data from well-controlled, adequately powered randomized clinical trials that demonstrate the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma for the treatment of Covid-19," according an NIH treatment guidelines group.
Roughly 70 KU Health System patients participated in a national study, conducted by the Mayo Clinic, into convalescent plasma’s effects. That review, which has yet to be published, was cited by Trump as a potential example of the practice’s success.
Hawkinson pushed back on those claims.
"We have a treatment regimen for COVID but none of it is a single, magic bullet," he said.