Note: The Shawnee Mission Post is making much of its local coverage of the coronavirus pandemic accessible to non-subscribers. (If you value having a news source covering the situation in our community, we hope you’ll consider subscribing here).
Gov. Laura Kelly and Kansas health officials on Monday announced that they were recommending communities stay in the current phase of the COVID-19 reopening plan on account of a recent rise in confirmed cases in the state.
“Though many Kansans and communities have been social distancing, wearing masks, and working hard over the past few weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus, we have unfortunately seen an increase in disease spread,” Kelly said.
Communities in Kansas entered Phase 3 of the plan on June 8, at which point recommendations allowed the resumption of non-essential travel and on-site employment. The recommended cap on mass gatherings was 45 persons.
The timeline released by the state in late May set June 22 as the targeted date for the “phase out” portion of the plan to begin. But, with new cases on the rise, Gov. Kelly said, her administration is now recommending communities in the state remain in Phase 3 until at least July 6.
“My administration is dedicated to getting Kansans back to work and back to school, in the safest way possible. We can’t do that if every person and community does not follow the Phase 3 guidelines,” Gov. Kelly said. “Please wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands often. Our state’s economic recovery depends on it.”
Kansas has seen the seven-day average of new cases ticking up since June 12. On Monday, Kansas recorded 296 new cases, the largest single day figure since May 18.
At least one northeast Johnson County municipality acknowledged Gov. Kelly’s recommendations in the hours after they were announced Monday afternoon. Roeland Park Mayor Mike Kelly said the city would adhere to Phase 3 guidelines:
Based on the @GovLauraKelly recommendation and that of medical professionals, @RoelandParkKS will remain in Phase 3 of our reopening plan until no sooner than July 6, 2020. Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, and take care of each other.
— Mike Kelly (@4mjkelly) June 22, 2020