Some KS businesses hesitant to reopen immediately when stay-at-home order ends

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT
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While some businesses closed during the COVID-19 pandemic could open next week, others are concerned for the safety of their customers and workers and aren't so ready to reopen.

In Old Town in downtown Wichita, Pumphouse general manager Daron Adelgren knows a restaurant, bar and night club like his business brings its own unique challenges during a pandemic. It's difficult to practice social distancing on the dance floor and a majority of servers and bartenders were already let go due to the extended closure with the stay-at-home orders for Kansas and Sedgwick County.

"It's probably going to take a little time before we go back to having a shoulder-to-shoulder dance floor on a packed Saturday night," Adelgren says.

At this point, a majority of businesses are still waiting for critical details from state leaders, offering guidance to reopen safely. The state expects to release guidance Thursday, just four days before May 4, the projected reopening of many businesses following the anticipated end of the statewide stay-at-home order on May 3.

"We are 100 percent dependent on guidance from those in charge," Adelgren says. "Whether it's city council, state, or federal, we absolutely have to have those guidelines before we can even think about reopening, and so the sooner we know what we are up against, the sooner we can start making plans to address those requirements."

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly Monday spoke with White House officials about plans to reopen the Kansas economy. The state will do this in a multi-phase process. The guidance for businesses Thursday will include details about how that will look.

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