42.1 F
Wichita
Saturday, November 28, 2020

Buy now

Kansas Gov. Kelly Pushes For Schools To Open After Labor Day To Slow Coronavirus Spread

By Elle Moxley – Kansas News Service

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly wants to push the start of K-12 school until after Labor Day in hopes of slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

Kelly’s announcement Wednesday came hours after the State Board of Education approved guidelines for reopening schools, and she said districts need time to act on recommendations.

“The additional three weeks will provide schools time to work with their counties to get the necessary mitigation supplies like masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer,” she said.

Kelly plans to issue an executive order on Monday that would delay the start of school until Sept. 9, but the Kansas State Board of Education will have to approve it. The State Finance Council can review Kelly’s executive order but cannot revoke it. That power lies only with the full Legislature through a concurrent resolution.

Kelly said she is frustrated because the number of new coronavirus cases continues to climb, with the state reporting more than 2,000 new cases since last Friday and more than 20,000 overall.

“I told every Kansan when I issued the mandate that I believed masks are the best tool we have, along with social distancing, avoiding mass gatherings and good hygiene, to keep our economy open and to keep each other safe,” Kelly said.

About a month into the pandemic, Kelly and the GOP-majority State Finance Council had contentious fights over executive orders on whether churches could be singled out in the statewide stay-at-home mandate.

Eventually, lawmakers and the governor compromised, which led to Kansas’ reopening plan and mask ordinance becoming recommendations for local governments instead of mandates.

Kelly believes that by delaying the start of school, Kansas will have more time to get the infection curve under control before students and teachers head back to class.

But Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said that won’t happen if Kansans don’t change their behavior. He said it’ll be another week before the state knows the full effect of mass gatherings over the Fourth of July holiday.

“Because of how infectious COVID-19 is, every week we don’t take the virus seriously sets the state back two weeks at a minimum,” Norman said.

Kansas News Service news editor Erica Hunzinger contributed to this report.

Related Articles

Letter From Marysville USD 364 Superintendent Mike Couch – 10/16/2020

Well, I am not sure if many parents were able to get any “back to school” pictures this morning as we had our First...

Washington County Government Offices To Be Locked Starting Tuesday

WASHINGTON, KAN. - Effective 12:01 a.m. on November 17, 2020, all doors to the Washington County Courthouse and all other County Offices and buildings...

First COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Pottawatomie County

Pottawatomie County, Kansas – On Monday, November 16, 2020, Pottawatomie County Health Department announced the first and possibly second COVID-19 related deaths for Pottawatomie...

Stay Connected

21,117FansLike
2,457FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -

Latest Articles

Letter From Marysville USD 364 Superintendent Mike Couch – 10/16/2020

Well, I am not sure if many parents were able to get any “back to school” pictures this morning as we had our First...

Washington County Government Offices To Be Locked Starting Tuesday

WASHINGTON, KAN. - Effective 12:01 a.m. on November 17, 2020, all doors to the Washington County Courthouse and all other County Offices and buildings...

First COVID-19 Deaths Reported In Pottawatomie County

Pottawatomie County, Kansas – On Monday, November 16, 2020, Pottawatomie County Health Department announced the first and possibly second COVID-19 related deaths for Pottawatomie...

Ellsworth Correctional Facility Reports 3rd Resident Death; 10th KDOC Death Overall

TOPEKA, Kansas – An Ellsworth Correctional Facility (ECF) resident who died Sunday, November15 had tested positive for COVID-19. This is third resident death from...

Lakeside Junior High Students To Move To Remote Learning Following COVID-19 Exposure

Waconda School District, after communicating with the Osborne County Health Department, has determined that there has been a new positive Covid-19 exposure within the...