SW KS counties look toward reopening as COVID-19 cases continue to rise
Even though confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise in southwest Kansas, area businesses could reopen in a few days. When Kansas Governor Laura Kelly's statewide stay-at-home order expires Sunday, individual counties get to decide whether or not they'll extend it.
Finney County made its decision Wednesday. County commissioners voted 4-1 to allow businesses to reopen at their own discretion,as long as they follow new guidelines from the governor when it comes to social distancing, safety measures and limits on the number of people that can be inside a business at one time.
However, Finney County health officials caution reopening now is too soon.
"My suggestion and recommendation to you is extending the current order for about two more weeks, because we're just not there yet," Finney County Health Director Colleen Drees told county leaders.
In Seward County, officials are waiting to make their own decision and the county commission will vote Monday (May 4) whether to extend the stay-at-home order locally.
Ford County leaders say they'll comply with the governor's guidelines with an updated executive order after the statewide stay-at-home order ends. As of Thursday, Ford County has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the state, just two behind Wyandotte County.