By the Associated Press and KFDI News:

New data released by Kansas health officials shows meatpacking plants continue to report the most active clusters of COVID-19 cases.

State health officials for the first time released data on Wednesday that identified specific active clusters throughout the state. Governor Laura Kelly has said the information would help the public be better informed about where the virus is spreading.

Leaders of several large business organizations had urged the governor not to release the data, saying it could hurt businesses trying to recover from the pandemic.

Seven active clusters were identified at meatpacking plants, with 2,159 cases leading to 76 hospitalizations and 12 deaths.

The state was reporting 177 active clusters on Wednesday.  The Wichita locations on the list had been previously identified, including the Sedgwick County jail and several care facilities.

Kansas Department of Health and Education secretary Lee Norman said the release of the information allows for more transparency as the agency gets more requests from the public on locations of COVID-19 clusters.    Dr. Norman also said that if people see locations on the list that they regularly visit, they will be able to make decisions to reduce their own personal risk.

The list is available on the KDHE web site.  You can click on “COVID-19 cases in Kansas,” and then click on the “Cluster Identification” link.