Gov. Kelly’s reopening plan to focus on tests, guidelines, safety

Capitol Bureau

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly will release her plan to reopen the state on Thursday night.

The governor said expanded testing is the key to getting the state open again. She announced that the state has recently purchased 500,000 tests from the private market. That will soon bring 10,000 tests a week to Kansas until the order is filled.

The federal government is also sending 50,000 tests to the state by next week.

“These additional kits will expand our ability to test more Kansans which will inform our decision-making process, based on data, as we move through the recovery phases,” Kelly said.

The governor’s reopening plan will outline how to rebuild the state’s economy.

She’s been talking to local officials and business owners to determine what guidelines should be included. She also said she has learned from other states that have dealt with the virus earlier than Kansas and has seen how they started the reopening process.

Kelly doesn’t want to put out a generic plan. She said hers will be specifically tailored to what the situation looks like in Kansas.

“We’re putting out much more detailed guidelines than for instance we saw from the White House, these will be much more detailed,” Kelly said. “That’s why we’ve been working with our local counties, so that if they want to take these guidelines and ratchet them up, because for their specific area they’re not enough, they’re not restrictive enough, local counties will have the authority to do that again.”

The statewide stay-at-home order will end at the end of the day on Sunday. Kelly said a new executive order will set new restrictions for mass gatherings and provide other guidance for local governments.

Kelly said the focus of her plan will be what keeps people safe.

“I’m hoping that Kansans understand that through all of this, what we have had in mind is their health and safety.”

Gov. Laura Kelly

“We are not going to take our eye off the ball, we’re not going to just open the door and then go on vacation. We’re going to stay there, watching all along the way, measuring the hospitalizations, measuring the number of positive tests, measuring all of those kinds of things, and using that to ensure that as we move through these phases, that we’re doing it safely,” Kelly said.

Kelly will announce her reopening plan at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.

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