Kansas is joining several states in issuing a temporary statewide stay-at-home order to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Gov. Laura Kelly announced Saturday an executive order that goes into effect Monday at 12:01 a.m. and will remain in place until at least April 19. The news came a day after Riley and Geary counties issued similar orders for their respective counties. The governor’s order essentially overrides those county orders.
“I know this is hard, and I can’t tell you how much I wish it weren’t necessary,” Kelly said. “But we have a small window to ensure that Kansas does not suffer the same terrible fate of other hard-hit states like New York and Missouri. We’ve all got to do our part to help stop the spread of the disease. Stay home. Stay Safe.”
Kelly says modeling continues to suggest the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Kansas could jump to as high as 900 over the next week. As of late Saturday, the state had seen 261 cases, including five total deaths in the state, the most recent coming in Shawnee County.
“While I left these decisions to local health departments as long as possible, the reality is that the patchwork approach that has developed is inconsistent and is a recipe for chaos and, ultimately, for failure in our statewide fight to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Under Executive Order 20-16, Kansans are directed to stay home unless performing one of the following essential activities:
- Obtaining food, medicine and other household necessities;
- Going to and from work at a business or organization performing an essential function as identified in the Kansas Essential Function Framework;
- Seeking medical care;
- Caring for children, family members or pets, or caring for a vulnerable person in another location;
- Engaging in an outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size.
Kelly says by doing this, it will bring statewide uniformity in response efforts, it will prevent overwhelming hospitals, especially in rural areas that may begin to see an influx of COVID-19 patients. She says it will also buy the state more time as state officials work with federal partners to secure badly needed protective personal equipment, additional ventilators and COVID-19 testing supplies.
The executive order can be viewed here: https://governor.kansas.gov/newsroom/executive-orders/