Gov. Laura Kelly issues executive order limiting churches, funerals to 10 people or less

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 2:17 PM CDT
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Gov. Laura Kelly issued an executive order on Tuesday limiting church gatherings and funerals to 10 people or less.

The governor said the order follows the fact that 25 percent of the state's cluster cases have come from church gatherings. She acknowledged that attending religious services remains essential and cannot be prohibited, but she said at this time, they must be limited.

“I want to be very clear, that my action today does not ban funerals from taking place or religious gatherings. I’m wholly committed to protecting Kansas’ religious liberty as Governor," said Gov. Kelly.

With Wednesday being the beginning of Holy Week, Kelly said consulted with pastors and clergy from across Kansas before issuing Executive Order 2018.

“We hoped there wasn’t a need to do this and that there would be self-regulation. And by and large, there was. Most of the churches across the state of Kansas had already limited to these stay at home guidelines. But there were a few that did not," said the governor.

She said she would not be attending Mass on Easter and encouraged churches to look alternative means of worshiping including virtual or even drive-up services.

Easter Sunday holds a deep meaning for thousands of Kansas families regardless if they’re members of a particular religious institution. Easter egg hunts, big Sunday dinners with extended family and friends, bunnies, and baskets of candy for young children wearing new outfits. These are defining family customs that have all been put on pause for everyone.”