Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced two different executive orders on Tuesday, aimed at keeping Kansans safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In light of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance released on Sunday, March 15, 2020, Kelly’s latest Executive Order follows the CDC’s recommendation to limit group gatherings to no more than 50 individuals in a single area.
“This is a difficult but essential step to further encourage social distancing and stem the spread of COVID-19,” Kelly said. “We must flatten the curve and hinder the spread of this disease. I urge all businesses, restaurants, bars, entertainment and recreational facilities to exercise responsible judgment and follow these guidelines.”
Kelly remains in close consultation with the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association, the National Federation of Independent Business Owners and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism as events unfold.
“While public health and safety must always come first, COVID-19 will undoubtedly have a devastating economic impact on Kansas small business owners and workers,” Kelly said. “I am actively engaged with the business community to identify how the state can best support Kansas businesses and their employees as we navigate this unprecedented challenge together.”
In addition, Kelly asked the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to suspend utility disconnects until April 15. This directive covers all electrical, natural gas, water and telecommunications utilities under the KCC’s jurisdiction. Kelly announced a second Executive Order, (E.O. #20-05) regarding utility disconnects advising the same directive for the utility companies not under the jurisdiction of the KCC.
“It’s imperative we provide relief to our most vulnerable Kansans during these unprecedented times,” Kelly said.
Kelly emphasized that certain populations are more vulnerable to COVID-19 than others, and it is imperative that all Kansans play a part in keeping communities safe.
“While all of these measures represent a dramatic change from what we’re accustomed to, I know Kansans will rise to the challenge,” Kelly said.