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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (Facebook Live screenshot)

Kelly to move Kansas into ‘modified Phase 2’ of recovery plan

Gov. Laura Kelly announced Tuesday that Kansas is ready to enter the second phase of a recovery plan for its economy. The “modified Phase 2” plan will start Friday, May 22, and increases the limit on public gatherings to 15 or fewer.

All businesses and activities will be allowed to reopen except for bars, nightclubs and swimming pools, which will be moved to Phase 3.

This means a resumption of business by casinos, theaters, bowling alleys, museums, arcades and organized sports activities. Community centers and fitness clubs can open and can resume in-person classes of 15 or fewer participants. Locker rooms will remain closed except for restroom facilities.

These businesses must avoid instances where individuals are not able to maintain 6 feet of distance with only infrequent or incidental moments of closer proximity.

READ: TV25 offers help for area small businesses impacted by COVID-19


Recreational organized sports facilities, tournaments and practices must still adhere to social distancing requirements and follow Parks and Recs guidelines, which can be found on covid.ks.gov.

State-owned-and-operated casinos will be allowed to open once their reopening plan has been approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment;

Bars and night clubs may not open until Phase 3, excluding curbside and carryout services.

Large venues seating more than 2,000, fairs, festivals, parades and summer camps will also remain shut down until Phase 3.

Phase 3 is expected to begin on Monday, June 8, with mass gatherings limits increased to 45 individuals.

The complete new plan can be found here.

County orders may vary

The state plan is subject to change county-by-county because the order allows each county to impose equal or more stringent restrictions.

Linn County’s health department has modified a May 1 order, and it now allows businesses to request a warrant or other judicial approval before business records would have to be shared with officials performing contact tracing. The original order required businesses to keep track of customer names and contact information to assist with possible tracing of coronavirus infection, and had been challenged on constitutional grounds

Officials in Shawnee County began requiring widespread face mask usage this week, and all retail employees are required to wear a face mask. Hand sanitizer must be available throughout the store, and employees must sanitize shopping carts before customers use them. Barbers, beauty salons, and other personal services are required to have masks on both the employee and the customer.

Wyandotte County has announced it will align with the state order, and urges everyone to wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands frequently.

–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice

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