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Kansas counties share guidelines and information on restrictions

Coronavirus in Kansas

With Governor Laura Kelly deciding to veto the emergency declaration bill, now it’s up to local officials to choose how to proceed.

The state’s most populous county, Johnson County, said restrictions limiting how businesses operate and the size of gatherings will now be only guidelines. But Wyandotte, Douglas and Lyon counties chose to keep the restrictions in place for now. 

Here is a look at some counties are proceeding across the viewing area.

Barton County

The Barton County Commissioners met as the Board of Health on Wednesday, May 27th at 9 a.m.. with Karen Winkelman, Interim Local Health Officer, and via Teams with Dr. Stanley Hatesohl, Medical Consultant. The Board of Health took no action in response to Governor Kelly’s veto of House Bill No. 2054. Therefore, there are no local restrictions on gatherings and businesses by the Barton County Board of Health. Governor Kelly’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas now serves as guidance.

We strongly encourage the public to take this pandemic seriously by practicing social distancing, limit large gatherings, hand washing for at least 20 seconds, wearing masks, frequent sanitizing of high touch areas and staying home if at all possible.

We also encourage local businesses to continue to take necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID.


Butler County

At this time, Butler County will continue to advise and recommend citizens to follow the governor’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. We are trusting that our citizens will continue to protect themselves and others by following the guidance that has been presented to us by the governor. If at any time our health metrics see a dramatic upward trend, stricter measures may be imposed. Visit the COVID-19 Resource Page.


Cowley County

County commissioner Bob Voegele says they will be staying in Phase 1.5 of the governor’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas outline until next week and will be keeping the same restrictions. On June 2,, a meeting will be held about moving into Phase 2.


Ellis County

The Ellis County Health Department, in consultation with the County Board of Health, will not impose any restrictions on businesses or residents of Ellis County. Businesses are encouraged to follow industry standards and best practices. The county will continue to monitor health metrics by the KDHE.


Ford County

The Ford County Board of Commissioners want businesses and community partners to use Ford County as a resource for guidance, and, if necessary, to develop and institute restrictions specific to the business, event, etc. to best exercise individual control.

The commissioners want citizens to continue social distancing, wear face covers in public, practice proper handwashing, remain home if ill or at high risk, make efforts to limit personal exposure, and monitor federal, state and local guidelines.


Finney County

Meeting not scheduled until 8 a.m. Friday. The county is currently in Phase 1.5 of the governor’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas outline. County Commissioner Bill Clifford says he isn’t sure exactly how they will approach that meeting because with eight deaths and 15 in the hospital.


Geary County

The Geary County Public Health Officer issued a new order Wednesday effective immediately.

Mass gatherings of more than 50 people that can’t properly social distance are prohibited. Special events of more than 100 people must submit paperwork to the Geary County Health Department 7 days before the event.

The full order can be found here.


Harvey County

The Harvey County Commission voted at a special meeting on May 26 to remain in the second phase of the Harvey County Health Reopening Plan regarding COVID-19 response through June 2. The local plan generally follows the guidance included in the governor’s Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas outline.

The Commission also agreed to increase mass gathering limits in Harvey County from 15 to 30. Commissioners unanimously approved the decision to revise and adopt the Harvey County Health Reopening Plan. All restrictions previously outlined in the State’s reopening plan remain in place in Harvey County’s local plan. Additionally, Harvey County’s plan restricts in-person visits at long-term care facilities through its first three phases.

Commissioners and the public health officer are anticipated to re-evaluate the local order at the Commission’s June 2 meeting. The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at the Harvey County Courthouse. The meeting will be open to the public while following mass gathering guidance and social distancing guidelines.


Hodgeman County

Dr. Kristie Clark M.D., and Hodgeman County Commissioners are evaluating the current recommendations. At this point in time, we are not expecting any restrictions for the county. A formal announcement will be made on Friday, May 29, 2020, in the afternoon.


Johnson County

Johnson County Government will not impose additional limits, based on current conditions. Johnson County Local Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment director Dr. Sanmi Areola both strongly recommend that Johnson County residents and businesses continue to adhere to the phases and guidance in the state’s Ad Astra plan.

“We cannot stress highly enough the importance of residents and businesses continuing to follow the guidance of the Ad Astra plan. This will give us the time we need to monitor the data and see the impact of loosening restrictions, reopening businesses and the gatherings that occurred over the Memorial Day weekend,” said Johnson County Local Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster. “It is crucial that we all continue to practice physical distancing, wear barrier masks where we cannot maintain social distancing, practice good hygiene and make decisions that protect the health of the community. If businesses and residents follow the recommendations, we have hope that the good progress we have made until now will continue.”

“Now that we are a few weeks past the end of the stay-at-home order and the beginning of reopening our economy, we are seeing an increase of positive cases, just as we anticipated,” said Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Sanmi Areola. “We will continue to investigate outbreaks, increase testing and ramp-up contact tracing and investigations. We will also continue to work with Long Term Care Facilities to mitigate the spread among our most vulnerable population. We’ve appreciated how Johnson County has taken steps to flatten the curve, and strongly urge you to continue to help with that effort.”


Kingman County

Kingman County will remain in Phase 2 of a notified Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas until June 10th. The county lists out their plan on their county website and the Health Department Facebook Page.


Kearny County

Kearny County is currently in Phase 2. The original local plan that was developed is null and void and Kearny County is following the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas. If there are individual items that need addressed locally, we will do that when necessary.


Leavenworth County

In light of Governor Laura Kelly’s announcement, Leavenworth County will not be imposing additional limits or orders.


Lyon County

Lyon County will remain in modified Phase 2 of the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas until the 8th day of June 2020.


McPherson County

Effective May 27, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., the McPherson County Local Health Officer will be recommending residents of McPherson County follow the guidelines listed in this link, some of which are set forth in Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas and other relevant national and state-level guidance.


Meade County

It was determined by the Meade County Commission and County Health Officer Rachel Clowdis that no local restrictions would be issued at this time. However, Clowdis said action would be taken if numbers spike.


Reno County

No gathering limit but maintain social distancing where applicable.


Riley County

Riley County Health Officer Julie Gibbs issued a new order Tuesday, allowing all businesses to reopen and increasing the amount of people allowed to gather to 50.

The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday and is expected to remain in effect for the next 14 days.


Russell County

The Russell County Health Department will not impose any restrictions on businesses or residents. Encourages all businesses to follow industry standards and best practices.


Saline County

Saline County Health officer Jason Tiller has issued a local health order that will make Phase 2 of the Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas a local order in Saline County beginning on May 27th. Mass gatherings will remain restricted to 15 or fewer persons and all activities and business restrictions under Phase 2 will remain and will remain in effect until at least June 8th. The movement to Phase 3 will depend on testing rates, COVID-19 hospitalizations, ability to contact trace, and the availability of personal protective equipment.


Shawnee County

The Shawnee County COVID-19 Response Team said Tuesday it will remain in the already established phase two, with no additional changes or restrictions.

Shawnee County’s plan to reopen can be found here.


Sherman County

The Sherman County Health Department will not impose any restrictions on businesses or residents of Sherman County


Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County commissioners voted 3-2 on Wednesday to not impose additional limits, based on current conditions and recommend that Sedgwick County residents and businesses continue to adhere to the phases and guidance in the state’s Ad Astra plan with modifications that it further defines public gatherings as persons commonly known to one another and allow gatherings of up to 20 individuals. The motion passed 3-2 with commissioners David Dennis, Lacey Cruse, and Pete Meitzner in favor. Commissioners Jim Howell and Michael O’Donnell voted against. Sedgwick County’s recommendations are similar to those in Johnson County.


Seward County

Seward County is planning to follow the original plans from the state Ad Astra 3 phase plan. The county Commission is meeting at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday to determine the official position and plan moving forward.


Sumner County

Sumner County is currently reviewing options with re-opening due to the recent changes at the state level. An announcement will be made soon.


Thomas County

The Commissioners will also be discussing next steps at their May 29th Commission meeting. 


Trego County

Trego County will go to phase 3. All businesses including pools and bars may be open and should follow public health guidelines. Nonessential travel may resume.


Wyandotte County

Wyandotte County is still enforcing Phase 2 of the state’s opening plan. That phase keeps bars closed until June 8, along with large event venues and gatherings of more than 15 people.

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