State officials work to combat coronavirus outbreak in Kansas

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — With Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order to implement a statewide stay-at-home order, Kansas is now one of 22 states to do so.

With the number of coronavirus cases increasing dramatically by the day, state health officials have been tasked with trying to slow down the spread.

While many counties throughout the state have already issued their own stay-at-home orders, the governor said this will help get everyone on the same page.

“Statewide uniformity will ensure we’re all playing by the same rules and it will help prevent an influx of new cases,” said Governor Kelly.

Senate President Susan Wagle said while the statewide order strays from the tradition of leaving decisions up to local governments, the outbreak is a complex issue that should be handled with the utmost caution.

“I hate to see counties where there’s not an outbreak of the virus be subject to this but on the other hand, we’re seeing cases that we never expected,” said Wagle.

Wagle also said while she doesn’t see the order as an infringement on the rights of Kansans — it’s still important that the order be reviewed.

“It’s good for the people of Kansas that we all have a say and that there’s legislative oversight, especially in a time of crisis,” said Wagle.

The state has run into many obstacles in trying to contain the outbreak, from the shortage of testing kits, ventilators and protective equipment for hospital personnel to the growing number of patients diagnosed with the virus. 

“We’re simply not ready for what we anticipate will be the peak of this pandemic,” said Governor Kelly.

Governor Kelly said she hopes this executive order will give hospitals and medical professionals more time to prepare for what’s to come.

“By limiting movement and keeping disease numbers down across the state, we can better protect our hospitals, especially our smaller and rural hospitals,” said Governor Kelly.

The order will begin on Monday, March 30, and will last until at least April 19.

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