Gov. Laura Kelly

Kansas will implement a modified Phase 2 reopening of the state on Friday, May 22, which includes a new mass gathering limit of 15 individuals.

Gov. Laura Kelly, during her COVID-19 briefing Tuesday, May 19, announced her decision to graduate from Phase 1.5 to a modified Phase 2 of “Ad-Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” was based on promising downward trends in COVID-19 disease spread, hospitalizations and deaths. She also cited the availability of testing and personal protective equipment (PPE).

All businesses and activities slated to be open in Phase 2 of the plan will be allowed in the modified version – with the exception of swimming pools, bars, night clubs and large indoor and outdoor event centers.

The state has issued guidelines for what is allowed under modified Phase 2. Those businesses and activities include:

  • Mass gatherings of 15 or fewer individuals.
  • All businesses/activities allowed in Phase 1 and 1.5 may continue to operate with outlined social distancing, mass gathering and public health restrictions outlined in Executive Order 20-34.
  • Nail salons, barber shops, hair salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlors and other personal service businesses where close contact cannot be avoided may continue to operate, but only for scheduled appointments or online check-in.
  • Fitness centers and health clubs may continue to operate. In-person group classes will be allowed to begin with groups of no more than 15 individuals at a time. Locker rooms remain closed except for restroom facilities.
  • Community centers may open as long as they follow the mass gathering and social distancing restrictions outlined in Executive Order 20-34. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools in these facilities are to remain closed, except for physical therapy and first-responder training.
  • Indoor leisure spaces such as movie theaters, trampoline parks, theaters, museums and bowling allies may now open as long as they follow the mass gathering as social distancing restrictions outlined in Executive Order 20-34.
  • State-owned and operated casinos will be allowed to operate as long as they follow social distancing and mass gathering restrictions, and their re-opening plan has been approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
  • Non-professional organized sports facilities, games, and practices may operate as long as they follow outlined mass gathering and social distancing guidelines, and they must follow guidelines established by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association posted on covid.ks.gov.
  • In-person commencement or graduation ceremonies may continue to occur with no more than 15 individuals in a room, gymnasium, or facility at one time so long as 6-foot social distancing is maintained. Outdoor drive-through graduation ceremonies during which no more than 15 individuals are in the same area outside of their vehicles at a time (i.e. school administration, graduates, family members, etc.) are allowed.

Businesses and activities not allowed under the modified Phase 2 include:

  • Bars and night clubs, excluding curbside and carryout services.
  • Outdoor and indoor large entertainment venues with capacity of 2,000 or more.
  • Fairs, festivals, carnivals and parades.
  • Swimming pools (except for backyard family pools).
  • Summer camps unless they are a licensed childcare facility.

The governor said her decision about when to move to the next phase of the reopening plan always will be driven by data not dates. She said dates for the launching of each phase are intended to provide a framework.

Gov. Kelly said Phase 3 has a target start date of June 8, with a mass gathering limit of 45 individuals.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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