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As new COVID-19 cases spike in Johnson County and across the state of Kansas, the cities of Prairie Village, Merriam, Westwood and Roeland Park have publicly posted their plans to stay in Phase 3 of Gov. Laura Kelly’s reopening plan.
Phase 3, though only a recommendation framework, limits gathering sizes to 45 and permits the reopening of playgrounds provided physical distancing signs are posted.
Prairie Village, Merriam, Westwood and Roeland Park’s individual announcements come on the heels of Gov. Kelly’s recommendation to halt progression in the reopening process. The recommendation does not have the teeth of enforcement, as Gov. Kelly relinquished her authority to formally require this request.
The Johnson County Board of County Commissioners has voted to follow the voluntary recommendations from Kelly’s administration.
Now, Phase 3 in Kansas will end no sooner than 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,” Kelly said in a recent news release. “Please wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands often. Our state’s economic recovery depends on it.”
A prolonged Phase 3 in Prairie Village will keep playgrounds and sports courts open, but will require city council meetings and some other government operations to continue working virtually. There will also be no in-person court dates during this phase. In a Facebook post the city noted that contact sports are allowed.
Roeland Park won’t hold any in-person court dates, but allows city meetings to resume in-person.
The Roeland Park Community Center is open and the fitness center is operational with some distancing requirements. Non-contact, outdoor sports and playground activities are permitted. Also, the restrooms at Nall Park are open.
In Merriam, Phase 3 continuing means all city facilities, including playgrounds and sports courts, are still open for public usage.
All city meetings will be held virtually at least through July 15 in Westwood during this phase, but facilities that have already opened will remain available.