Governor extends stay-at-home order


Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday announced she’s extending the statewide stay-at-home order to May 3 as part of a regional effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

She said the current stay-at-home order expires on April 19, before the number of confirmed coronavirus cases is projected to peak in Kansas.

The state reported 1,494 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday along with 76 deaths.

Kelly said the number of cases is expected to reach its apex in Kansas between April 19 and April 29.

“Ideally, we need to see a reduction in the number of cases for 14 days before we begin to relax social gathering restrictions,” Kelly said during a briefing on Wednesday.

Kelly said her administration will consult with health experts, the businesses community and other leaders to determine the best path forward after May 3.

Kelly said she was extending the order in conjunction with Gov. Mike Parson in Missouri and mayors in the Kansas City metro area. She also is coordinating with Colorado Gov. Jared Polis.

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

Kelly is the latest in a line of governors nationally to extend stay-at-home orders as they cope with the health emergency crisis gripping the country.

A number of states, including Michigan, Vermont, Ohio, Washington and Georgia, have already extended their stay-at-home orders as they work to control the virus.

“It’s clear that no state in the nation will truly be able to get back to normal until a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed, manufactured and made widely available,” she said.

“We won’t be able to lift all restrictions on mass gatherings overnight, but we know how much of a hardship these mitigation efforts have caused for thousands of Kansas families and businesses,” she said.

“We’re working as quickly as we can,” she said, “to give our communities a plan for the future.”