Governor Kelly declares statewide stay-at-home order, effective March 30

Coronavirus in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Governor Laura Kelly declared a statewide stay-at-home order to flatten the curve, as coronavirus moves into over 30 Kansas communities.

Gov. Kelly issued a statewide stay-at-home order at a Topeka press conference Saturday morning. Executive Order No. 20-16 is to take effect at 12:01 a.m. March 30 and remain until April 19.

In her address, Gov. Kelly said securing the health, safety, and economic well-being of residents of the state of Kansas is the administration’s top priority.

“Our projections continue to suggest that the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Kansas could reach as much as 900 over the next week. Positive cases are appearing everywhere at this point,” said Governor Kelly. “I’m announcing the difficult but unavoidable decision to add Kansas to the list of 22 other states that have issued a temporary stay-at-home order.”

At the time of publication, there have been 202 reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas, spread among 31 counties. The Governor said she does not have plans to enforce this with the National Guard, but said local officials have the right to enforce.

Under Executive Order 20-16, Kansans are directed to stay home unless performing one of the following essential activities:

  • Obtaining food, medicine, and other household necessities;
  • Going to and from work at a business or organization performing an essential function as identified in the Kansas Essential Function Framework;
  • Seeking medical care;
  • Caring for children, family members or pets, or caring for a vulnerable person in another location;
  • Engaging in an outdoor activity, provided individuals maintain a distance of six feet from one another and abide by the 10-person limitation on gathering size.

“I know this is hard, and I can’t tell you how much I wish it weren’t necessary,” Kelly said. “But we have a small window to ensure that Kansas does not suffer the same terrible fate of other hard-hit states like New York and Missouri. We’ve all got to do our part to help stop the spread of the disease. Stay home. Stay Safe.”

In a public address to Kansans on Saturday morning, Kelly explained that this action became necessary for three key reasons:

  • To provide statewide uniformity in response efforts;
  • To prevent overwhelming hospitals – especially rural hospitals – who may not have the same capacity to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients;
  • To buy Kansas more time as the state officials work with federal partners to secure badly needed protective personal equipment (PPE), additional ventilators and COVID-19 testing supplies.

Kelly also commended federal efforts in recent days to support state and local response efforts in the form of a historic emergency relief package.

More details about the implications the federal stimulus bill will have for Kansas will be released as they become available.

The executive order can be viewed here: https://governor.kansas.gov/newsroom/executive-orders/

Please visit kdheks.gov/coronavirus for additional virus-related information, and visit getkansasbenefits.gov for federal stimulus benefits updates or to file for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

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