Kansas governor urges communities to slow reopening plans

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Gov. Laura Kelly

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly is recommending that communities wait a little bit longer before moving to the next phase of reopening as cornovirus cases increase.

The “Phase Out” stage of Kelly’s Ad Astra reopening plan was set to begin Monday, but Kelly and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment are now advising communities to stay in Phase 3 for at least two more weeks.

The main difference is that Phase 3 limits mass gatherings to no more than 45 people. The “Phase Out” stage merely urges social distancing but doesn’t limit the size of crowds. The ultimate decision, though, rests with local officials.

“Though many Kansans and communities have been social distancing, wearing masks, and working hard over the past few weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus, we have unfortunately seen an increase in disease spread,” Kelly said in a news release.

New data released Monday shows Kansas has at least 12,465 cases, up 406 from Friday. The state health department also said the number of COVID-19 deaths rose by five to 259.

Nursing home have been particularly hard hit, with 58 cases and 11 deaths reported at Garden Terrace at Overland Park, The Kansas City Star reports.

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