Gov. Kelly announces phase 2 of reopening plan to begin Friday


Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (Facebook Live screenshot)

Gov. Laura Kelly says Kansas will move into Phase 2 of her reopening plan Friday.

The move comes a bit earlier than the initially anticipated June 1 date after the state moved into Phase 1.5 last week. It also comes with some modifications, including a mass gathering limit of 15 rather than 30, which had been the plan for phase two initially.

“All businesses and activities slated for phase two will be allowed to open, with the exception of bars, nightclubs and swimming pools,” she said at a Tuesday news conference.

Organized sports facilities and tournaments can also resume, except that concessions must not include self-service food or beverages. Kelly at a news conference Tuesday explained scientific data showing a downward trend helped lead her to the decision.

The governor Tuesday also unveiled the five member executive committee for her Strengthening People And Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) task force which is chaired by former Manhattan Chamber President and CEO Lyle Butler. The five person committee also includes Jill Docking of Wichita, Tom Bell of Topeka, Alise Martiny of Shawnee and State Senator Jim Denning of Overland Park.

“Our coronavirus driven hospitalization and death rates have steadily fallen and we’ve ramped up testing needed to identify who is infected before they unknowingly spread the disease,” she said.

The Riley County Health Department says the change will not affect the local order No 8. Restaurants will still be required to close at 10 p.m. but that is the only difference between the local and state orders.

Details of the governor’s plan are listed below.

Key changes to Phase 2:

  • Mass gatherings of more than 15 individuals will be prohibited;
  • All businesses and activities slated to open during Phase 2 will be allowed, with the exception of bars, night clubs and swimming pools. These will be moved to Phase 3;
  • Businesses and activities that will be allowed to open in Phase 2 include:
  • Recreational organized sports facilities, tournaments and practices will be allowed to begin on Friday, May 22, and must adhere to social distancing requirements and follow Parks and Recs guidelines, which can be found on;
  • Community Centers will be allowed to open, except for indoor and outdoor swimming pools;
  • Indoor leisure spaces such as arcades, trampoline parks, theaters, museums and bowling allies will be allowed to open on May 22;
  • State-owned-and-operated casinos will be allowed to open once their re-opening plan has been approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment;
  • In-person group exercise classes will be allowed to begin with groups of no more than 15 at a time. Locker rooms remain closed except for restroom facilities;
  • Everything opened in Phase 1 and Phase 1.5 remains open pursuant to the restrictions outlined in Executive Order 20-34.
  • Phase 2 will last until Sunday, June 7, assuming the current trends continue. Phase 3 is expected to begin on Monday, June 8, with mass gatherings of more than 45 individuals prohibited.

Under Phase 2, the following, unless they are repurposed for use in an essential function under the Kansas Essential Function Framework, shall remain closed to the public:

  • Bars and night clubs, excluding curbside and carryout services;
  • Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000 or more;
  • Fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades;
  • Swimming pools (other than backyard pools);
  • Summer camps (with the exception of licensed childcare facilities).

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Brandon Peoples

KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at

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