Gov. Kelly Signs Executive Order Limiting Gatherings
Joe Denoyer - March 24, 2020 8:30 pm
As she discussed during a press conference Monday, Governor Laura Kelly today issued Executive Order #20-14 limiting mass gatherings in Kansas to 10 persons, which replaced the previous order limiting mass gatherings to 50 persons.
The decision was based on updated guidance from the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and modeling from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) that projected cases of COVID-19 in Kansas could sharply rise to a range of 300 to 900 by the end of the month.
“While none of us wanted to see this Executive Order further limiting the size of gatherings, it is necessary to help slow the spread of the coronavirus within our communities,” Kelly said. “We learn more about this virus every day and we are seeing serious cases in every age group – not just among our seniors. The most effective way we can slow down the spread is to stay home and practice good hygiene techniques.”
She also issued Executive Order #20-15, which details the Kansas Essential Functions Framework (KEFF) that counties will be required to use if local officials determine it is necessary to issue stay-at-home orders.
Stay-at-home orders require that residents not leave their homes unless they are engaged in activities that are essential to the health and safety of themselves, family members or friends. Essential activities include, but are not limited to, seeking medical attention, purchasing food or filling up gas tanks.
KEFF was developed with reference to national critical function guidelines established for pandemic and other disaster response efforts and provides information on how to limit sustained personal interaction while providing for the continuation of essential infrastructure and businesses. If a local authority has issued a stay-home or similar order, businesses or organizations that fit a KEFF exemption for essential functions should contact that local authority.
“These actions will ensure as much consistency as possible as local communities make their decisions around these increased protections for residents,” the Governor said.
With the vast majority of Kansas counties without a confirmed case as of today, the Governor does not plan to issue a statewide stay-at-home order at this time.
“While disruptive and unpleasant, all of the orders I have issued to date are absolutely necessary to keep Kansans safe and healthy and to prevent overwhelming our emergency rooms and our larger health care system,” Kelly said. “We’ve all got to do our part and work together to protect our families and our communities.”