According to multiple reports, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly plans to ease restrictions on Kansans when her current stay home order expires May 3. Kelly will either issue a new order with less restrictions, or will decline to issue a new order and let counties make their own decisions on how to open Kansas back up for business.
Kelly’s intentions are discussed in a court document that was part of an agreement Kelly made in a lawsuit filed against her by two Kansas churches. In that case, a federal court issued a temporary stay on her restrictions against the churches.
Apparently, Kelly agreed that any new order would remove restrictions on gatherings as long as 6’ between people is maintained, and other safety measures are taken.
The document states “As of now, those restrictions will not prohibit gatherings in which individuals can consistently maintain a 6-foot distance and follow other safety protocols (such as disinfecting surfaces, etc.). While the details may be subject to change between now and next weekend, unless there is a significant change in trends or status of the pandemic, the new restrictions will be significantly less restrictive than those currently in place.”
Such new restrictions would allow church services of any number.
As of Sunday morning, this case is still under review by the court.
Meanwhile, in Shawnee County, officials have issued a statement of general guidelines on how the county would reopen if the governor issues no more orders. It includes 5 Phases, of which Phase 1 is the current situation. Phase 2 (May 4 at earliest) would lift the stay-home order for most businesses and activities, but could have some restrictions on crowd sizes. Phase 3 (May 18 at earliest) would allow all businesses to open, but still with some restrictions to crowd size. Phase 4 (June 15 at earliest) would lift most restrictions and size of gatherings allowed would increase.
In Phase 5 (July 13 at earliest), some restrictions could remain on businesses with high risk, and large gatherings would be allowed on a case by case basis.
More details on the county plan are expected to be released in the next few days.
Other Kansas counties are working on their own reopening plans. We can expect to hear from more of them in the coming week. It is thought Kansas hit the peak of coronavirus cases on April 20.
The May 4 date coincides with other states’ lifting of restrictions, including Missouri, where Gov. Mike Parson has said he also plans to begin lifting restrictions on May 4 and that gyms, barber shops and salons will be allowed to open for business.
–Lee Hartman | Metro Voice
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