Traveling in Kansas during the coronavirus pandemic: What you need to know

Destination Kansas

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Traveling during a pandemic is possible, but you do need to take precautions.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) says it is actively monitoring developments surrounding COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our visitors and residents is our highest priority,” according to the TravelKS website.

It offers this guidance for travelers:

  • Refer to reliable and factual sources as you make your travel decisions. Travelers should observe safe travel habits as outlined by the CDC.
  • To get the most up-to-date information on reopening guidelines, please check out the Governor’s COVID-19 website and local health departments.  
  • Kansas Tourism Travel Information Centers located in Goodland and Belle Plaine are staffed during regular hours with enhanced and extensive safety and cleaning protocols.    
  • Many events throughout Kansas have been rescheduled to a later date. We encourage you to call ahead to confirm the status of every event.
  • During this time of reopening transition, many businesses are operating with reduced personnel and hours or may have personal safety measures in place. We encourage you to call ahead to your destinations to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
  • When possible, please postpone, don’t cancel your travel plans.

The KDWPT says its facilities are open to the public. It asks visitors to practice social distancing and to observe all safety precautions put in place by staff. Some business will be conducted through teller windows.

The KDWPT says public tours at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge, Canton, and Sandsage Bison Range and Wildlife Area, Garden City, have been temporarily suspended.

Camping is allowed. Reserve a campsite, cabin or yurt through the KDWPT mobile app “CampIt KS.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from getting sick.

The CDC says you should not travel if you are sick, with someone else who is sick, or if you have been around someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Before you travel, ask yourself these questions: Is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going? Will you be within 6 feet of others during or after your trip? Are you or those you are traveling with more likely to get very ill from COVID-19? Is it possible you will bring COVID-19 home to someone who is at higher risk? If you get the coronavirus, when will it be safe to be around others again?

You may consider traveling by car or RV to be safer than flying or going by bus or train, but there are risks. The CDC says stopping for food, gas or bathroom breaks may put you and your traveling companions in close contact with others.

Protect yourself and others during the trip: (Source: CDC.gov)

  • Clean your hands often.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, after touching surfaces frequently touched by others, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, and before touching your face or eating.
    • If soap and water are not available, bring and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub your hands together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with others. Keep 6 feet of physical distance from others.
  • Wear a cloth face covering in public.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Pick up food at drive-throughs, curbside restaurant service, or stores.

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