Governor Laura Kelly introduces plan to safely, gradually re-open Kansas, get state back to work
“Ad Astra” plan increases local flexibility in COVID-19 response efforts
TOPEKA – In a televised address, Governor Laura Kelly today presented her detailed framework for gradually, safely re-opening the Kansas economy and getting Kansas back to work. Kelly’s framework, “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” comes five weeks after a statewide stay-home order became necessary to aggressively mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Phase One will take effect on Monday, May 4, 2020, via Executive Order 20-29, when the statewide stay-home order outlined in Executive Order 20-16 officially lifts.
“I am incredibly proud of how the people of Kansas met the moment and answered the call to hunker down,” Kelly said. “It has been a difficult time that has taken a painful toll … financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally on Kansans,” Kelly said. “But because Kansans took this seriously, COVID-19 has inflicted far less devastation on Kansas than it did in other states.”
The framework is structured to return more flexibility to local community response efforts, while still operating under a statewide, regulatory baseline. It allows local governments to impose additional restrictions beyond those outlined at the state level, if they deem it necessary to local COVID-19 response efforts. Local governments that choose not to impose additional restrictions are required to operate within the regulatory baseline established by the state. This approach will increase flexibility for local communities while also ensuring a gradual, safe transition statewide.
"My Ad Astra plan was developed in collaboration with my state health department, state emergency management team, business leaders and a diverse team of community leaders,” Kelly said. “It aims to balance the needs and concerns identified throughout diverse regions of the state, and sectors of the Kansas economy, but without compromising public health and safety. Data must drive this process … not dates.”
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.
Throughout all these phases, Kansans should continue to adhere to hygiene and social distancing protocols, including:
Washing hands frequently, while avoiding contact with one’s face;
Remaining home when sick or running a fever;
Following isolation and quarantine orders issued by state or local health officers;
Wearing a cloth face mask when in public;
Working remotely, if possible.
These are basic public health guidelines that will slow the spread of this disease, regardless of which phase is in effect, and are essential to minimizing community transmission of COVID-19 in the absence of a vaccine.
“Even if Kansans do everything perfectly for the next couple of months, new outbreaks are almost inevitable until a COVID-19 vaccine is developed, manufactured and made widely available. It is essential that we make this transition slowly, gradually and cautiously,” the Governor said.
Kelly’s “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” is available in full at covid.ks.gov, in addition to industry-specific guidance for Kansas businesses.
Republic County Hospital is currently engaging in a "No Visitor Policy."
This means that our doors are closed to everyone except hospital staff and patients with appointments.
At Republic County Hospital, every person who enters the facility is undergoing a screening process.
Questions about travel history are necessary questions being asked. It is critical that as a patient you are providing us with accurate and truthful information.
We ask that you consider tracking your travel history on a calendar. This will help you recall where you've been and how long ago it occurred. If at all possible, please bring this calendar with you to your appointment.
People tend to forget their travel history, or dismiss it as unimportant. During our current circumstances, your travel information is vital.
When we are aware of your travel history:
*It does NOT mean that you will not be allowed in the building.
*It does mean that our staff has the opportunity to use proper Personal Protective Equipment.
*It does mean we can more appropriately care for you.
*It does mean that we can perform the proper tests to get a correct diagnosis.
*It does help keep you and your community safe.
As part of an ongoing effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the state of Kansas, Governor Kelly has issued a temporary STAY AT HOME order from March 30th until April 19th.
However, your complete travel history is still necessary. Before visiting Republic County Hospital please ask yourselves the following questions: Where have I been? Who has been to see me?
Help us help you. If you have any questions, please call us at 785-527-2254.
Mar 28, 2020
As part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of novel coronavirus in Kansas, today Governor Laura Kelly issued Executive Order 20-16, making Kansas the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order. It will exist in conjunction with the Kansas Essential Function Framework for COVID-19 response efforts and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 30. The measure will be in place at least until Sunday, April 19.
“Our modeling continues to suggest that the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases in Kansas could reach as high as 900 over the next week,” Kelly said. “While I left these decisions to local health departments as long as possible, the reality is that the patchwork approach that has developed is inconsistent and is a recipe for chaos and, ultimately, for failure in our statewide fight to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Under Executive Order 20-16, Kansans are directed to stay home unless performing one of the following essential activities:
In a public address to Kansans on Saturday morning, Kelly explained that this action became necessary for three key reasons:
The executive order can be viewed here.
Please visit kdheks.gov/coronavirus for additional virus-related information, and visit getkansasbenefits.gov for federal stimulus benefits updates or to file for Unemployment Insurance benefits.