Gov. Laura Kelly to unveil plans to reopen Kansas on Thursday
Gov. Laura Kelly will unveil plans on Thursday to re-open Kansas following a month-long stay-at-home order.
The public address will air live at 6:30 p.m. from Topeka on KWCH.
Gov. Kelly said her plans will set limits for mass gatherings and provide guidance for all of the state’s 105 counties. It will be up to each individual county to put in more restrictive guidelines if they choose to do so.
The governor said she looked at reopening plans from other states and consulted Kansas counties and local stakeholders.
“That’s why we’re putting out much more detailed guidelines than from what we saw from the White House. These will be much more detailed. That’s why we’ve been working with our local counties, so if they want to take these guidelines and rachet them up for their specific area, local counties will have the authority to do that again,” said Gov. Kelly.
The governor said she will also sign a new declaration of emergency effective through May 14. At that time, the state Finance Council of the legislature can choose to extend the emergency declaration for 30 days to June 13. The legislature as a whole would have to extend the emergency declaration beyond that.
Kelly said she will also issue one new executive order on Thursday to extend the current executive orders under the emergency declaration.
The governor has long said as the state moves forward to re-open expanded testing is necessary.
Kansas has secured 500,000 USDA and FDA-approved test collection kits from overseas. Kelly said the tests have been cleared through customs and should arrive soon. The state will then receive 10,000 kits every week until the order is filled, according to Kelly.
Kansas has also received 25,000 test kits this week from the federal government and will receive another 25,000 next week.
Kansas can now decontaminate N95 masks, making them reusable up to 20 times for first responders.
Dr. Lee Norman, secretary for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary, said five additional staff from the Centers for Disease Control will be in Kansas for 11 months to help out with epidemiology and contact tracing. The secretary said he hopes to hire an additional 25 contact tracing investigators to help with the process.