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State prepares for Phase 3 of reopening plan

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – The latest phase in the state’s reopening plan begins on Monday.

It’s up to local officials to decide what to do in their community, but many are still following the state’s lead on how to go about reopening.

Phase 3 will change guidance in a number of areas.

Mass gatherings can increase from 15 to 45 people. Non-essential travel may resume. The plan says that people can choose to wear a mask instead of encouraging all people to wear one, like in previous phases. Staffing at businesses is unrestricted. All education, activities, venues, and establishments can operate and should follow public health guidelines.

State leaders said that most counties especially those that have had large clusters are trending in the right direction. But 13 counties, mostly in rural areas, aren’t seeing the positive numbers yet.

“Very few numbers make a big deflection,” Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Lee Norman said in regards to the size of the affected areas.

Norman said for those communities still seeing higher numbers, health officials will be trying to get help to the infected area faster.

“Part of the new norm will be responding very quickly, when there’s, in this case, an outbreak, which is again defined as two cases in one setting,” Norman said.

Leaders said that those counties should be cautious to quickly move forward with reopening just because other areas of the state are.

“Counties who have plateaued or who are trending in the wrong direction should not feel pressure to move into Phase 3, we encourage them to remain in Phase 2 until they see improvement,” Governor Laura Kelly said.

Phase 3 will last two weeks. The phase out process will go into effect on June 22.

You can see the entire plan here.

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