TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Kelly extended the state’s stay at home order until May 3. Now she’s preparing how the state will eventually reopen.

Kelly said the state could hit its peak number of coronavirus cases between April 19 and 29. It would need to see a reduction in cases for 14 days before social gathering restrictions could be relaxed.

The governor’s administration will begin talking with business leaders, economists, and health experts on just how to reopen the economy safely and effectively.

“If we don’t do this right, we will do more damage to the economy than we can imagine,” Kelly said.

They are working to develop recommendations that will help stop the spread that local businesses can use to protect employees and customers.

“I do understand the pressure, if I were a small business owner, I’d be chomping at the bit too to get that door back open, get people into my restaurant. I get that, but this is a case where if we do rush it, we will end up doing more harm, whereas if we take it slowly, cautiously, we’ll win that race and we’ll be better off in the long run,” Kelly said.

The governor also said that she wants to learn from other states that may be ahead of Kansas in dealing with the virus to figure out the best ways they are starting up their economy.

Kelly is also collaborating with the governors from Missouri and Colorado on the issue.

“We believe a regional approach will reduce confusion and help keep our communities safe on both sides of the state line,” Kelly said.

The governor said the ban on gatherings could continue past May 3, but she will reassess restrictions as we approach the date.

She also said reopening the state will likely be different for each part of the state.

“The way that this will work will for, let’s just say, Stafford County may be very different than it will look in Wyandotte County, so we want to give the flexibility back to the locals,” Kelly said.

Kelly said increasing the amount of testing will help officials know when it’s time the state can open up.

She also said she believes that any state can’t truly get back to normal until a vaccine is made widely available.