Johnson County leaders vote to follow Kansas’ reopening plan after stay-at-home order

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OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County commissioners voted Friday to follow Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s reopening plan when its stay-at-home order expires.

County leaders said, despite different reopening recommendations from a local task force, they decided to coincide with the state’s plan to avoid confusion for residents and businesses.

It’s important to note, however, that Johnson County’s stay-at-home order is still extended through May 10. They will transition to the first phase of the governor’s “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” on May 11.

There are some differences between the county task force’s proposed reopening plan and Kelly’s plan.

Primarily, Phase One does not allow personal service businesses where a 6-foot distance can’t be maintained — such as hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage therapy businesses and tattoo shops — as well as gyms, bars, outdoor playgrounds and sports courts to reopen.

These businesses will be allowed to open in Phase Two, which will begin no sooner than May 18. The governor will determine when to move to the next phase.

Johnson County announced it would extend its stay-at-home order on Thursday before Kelly presented her reopening plan and confirmed she would lift her statewide stay-at-home order after this weekend.

Kansas’ most populated county Johnson County has seen declining new positive COVID-19 test results and fewer hospitalizations, but Public Health Officer Dr. Joseph LeMaster said they extended the order to ensure they don’t undo all that progress.

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