Kelly Slows Reopening and Announces New Phase
Brock Kappelmann - May 14, 2020 3:54 pm
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has slowed down the reopening of Kansas’ economy with the announcement of “Phase 1.5 of the Ad Astra Recovery Plan.”
Kelly on Thursday ordered bars and bowling alleys to remain closed through the end of the month and plans to keep some coronavirus-inspired restrictions in place until near the end of June. Kelly’s new order takes effect Monday and is likely to stir strong opposition in the Republican-controlled Legislature.
A limit on public gatherings of 10 or fewer people will remain in place, rather than being increased to 30 on Monday. Kelly is allowing barbershops and hair and nail salons to reopen as planned but limiting them to appointments only.
“The good news is that hospitalizations and COVID-related deaths continue to decline, enabling us to move forward with our efforts to safely reopen Kansas,” Kelly said Thursday. “Unfortunately, the daily rate of disease spread has not shown the downward trajectory necessary to move fully into Phase 2. I said from the beginning that public safety must remain the top priority, which means that our reopening efforts must be driven by data, not dates. Phase 1.5 will continue our transition, but with necessary caution.”
Key Phase 1.5 highlights:
- Mass gatherings of more than 10 individuals continue to be prohibited;
- Nail salons, barbershops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors and other personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided may open, but only for pre-scheduled appointments or online check-in;
- Fitness centers and health clubs may open, but in-person group classes may not occur and locker rooms must be closed except as necessary to use restroom facilities.
- In-person commencement or graduation ceremonies may occur with no more than 10 individuals in a room, gymnasium, or facility at one time as long as 6-foot social distancing is maintained. Outdoor drive-thru graduation ceremonies during which no more than 10 individuals are in the same area outside of their vehicles at a time (i.e. school administration, graduate, family members, etc.) are allowed.
Under Phase 1.5, the following, unless they are repurposed for use in an essential function under the Kansas Essential Function Framework, shall remain closed to the public:
- Bars and nightclubs, excluding already operating curbside and carryout services;
- Non-tribal casinos;
- Theaters, museums, and other indoor leisure spaces (trampoline parks, arcades, etc.);
- Community centers;
- Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000 or more;
- Fairs, festivals, carnivals, parades;
- Swimming pools (other than backyard pools);
- Organized sports facilities, sports tournaments, sports games, and sports practices;
- Summer camps
- The Governor will evaluate the state’s disease spread, testing rates, death rates, hospitalizations, ability of state and local public health authorities to contain outbreaks and conduct contact tracing, and personal protective equipment availability when determining if the state should move to the next “Phase.” Regardless of phase, the State Health Officer retains the authority to impose additional public health interventions in any area that contains an emergent and significant public health risk.