TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The state of emergency order in Kansas is set to end.
A group of lawmakers will be meeting Tuesday afternoon to decide whether to extend the emergency order.
In an interview Monday, Gov. Laura Kelly said she’s feeling ‘optimistic’ about the upcoming decision, noting that it is vital in making sure the state has what it needs to increase vaccinations.
“If we lose this emergency declaration, it really impedes our ability to really do the most important task we got ahead of us right now,” the governor said.
The governor said administering vaccines to children ages 12 and up before school starts, is a priority for the state. Her message, following CDC guidance, urging younger Kansans to get vaccinated in a push to put the pandemic behind us.
“We want our children to feel safe, and the vaccination is really the key to that,” said Dr. Marci Nielsen, the state’s Chief Advisor of Vaccine Distribution.
As of this week, CDC numbers show about 47.5% of people ages 12 and up in Kansas are fully vaccinated, and it’s a number the state is working hard to increase.
The governor said extending the state of emergency order is critical in that goal.
“We need that declaration in place so that we have the personnel necessary, the contact nurses, and the ability to use our emergency management department,” Kelly said.
The governor sent a letter last week, urging the Legislative Coordinating Council to extend the state of emergency order until July 15. The council will meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to make a final decision.