Gov. Kelly says she plans to hold discussion for bipartisan statewide mask mandate


TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Governor Laura Kelly on Wednesday discussed the state’s response efforts to the coronavirus outbreak in Norton County, as well as gave an update on coronavirus in Kansas.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Reno County Health Department 71,785 positive cases of coronavirus statewide. That number includes 57,988 recoveries and 900 deaths.

Reno County Health Department also reported 336 positive cases in Norton County, including 63 recoveries and one death.

Gov. Kelly said when she learned of the outbreak on Friday, she told the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to provide resources to help mitigate spread, such as personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Outbreaks are not isolated incidents,” she said.

“We cannot sit by as cases continue to rise in our rural counties.”

Governor Laura Kelly

Kelly said she plans to hold a discussion with house and senate leadership to come up with a bipartisan statewide mask mandate. She said a meeting has not been set up yet.

During the news conference, Kelly also announced Kansans experience financial hardship due to the pandemic are eligible to receive up to $5,000 in rental assistance.

Around $35 million of CARES Act funding is available through the Kansas Eviction Prevention Program.

“Keeping Kansans in their homes and businesses has been a top priority for my administration since the pandemic began,” Governor Kelly said. “Through this program, we will provide support to tenants and landlords experiencing pandemic-related financial stress, ensure families and businesses stay put, and keep Kansans safe and healthy.”

Program funds are limited. Kansans are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications can be found here.

You can watch the full news conference below.

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